Strengthen our shores - rebuild our coastal shipping

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Aotearoa New Zealand is an island nation dependent on trade to survive.

Due to 1990s deregulation, multinational shipping firms dominate our coastal trade, causing job losses, climate harm, and dependence on shipping firms with no loyalty to New Zealand. We urge government action to safeguard our shores, as other nations do, by investing in and strengthening our coastal shipping industry.

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Strengthen our shores - rebuild our coastal shipping

To the Prime Minister Rt Hon Chris Hipkins

With the funding of New Zealand flagged coastal shipping, your government has taken the first steps towards rebuilding a New Zealand shipping industry.

But to make sure that we have the resilient shipping industry we need to ensure our supply chain, lower our carbon emissions, and build the economic resilience of our regions, you still need to return control of our coastal shipping to New Zealand flagged vessels.

Protecting and growing our domestic shipping would mean stronger supply chains, more jobs, less congestion on our roads, and greater national and regional economic resilience.

We are an island nation almost solely dependent on international shipping to trade and to shift our goods between our ports. Over the course of the pandemic, we saw how vulnerable that makes us and how much damage it can do to our economy. Controlling our shipping industry helps us control our destiny as a nation rather than leaving us reliant on international companies with no stake in New Zealand's success.

We need to control our own shipping industry again. It's a simple change. Just remove one short clause – s198(1)(c) – from the Maritime Transport Act and leave the carriage of domestic cargo to New Zealand flagged ships.

This is the right thing to do for New Zealand's people, our businesses, and our economy.

We ask you to make a commitment to strong coastal shipping a key election policy.