May 2017 Newsletter

May 2, 2017 | Member Newsletters


The agenda for Strategy day 2017 is now substantially confirmed and we look forward to a very full day of discussion and insights about the important issues facing our sector, meetings with politicians and officials and networking amongst the membership. Please note that we are still awaiting response from a couple of political party spokespersons, so there may yet be some movement in the schedule to accommodate additional presentations. At this stage we are reserving the morning for NZSC discussion and policy planning and the afternoon for external speakers.
You’ll note also the invitation to stay on for dinner at a local Wellington restaurant – please RSVP here if you would like to be included in the dinner reservation and have not yet advised us.

Freight, Ports, Shipping and Supply Chain Futures Summit – 15-16 August, Auckland

NZSC members are alerted to the Freight, Ports, Shipping and Supply Chain Futures summit, which the NZSC is supporting and has secured an exclusive 2 for 1 registration rate for Council members. You can view the summit agenda at and add the promotional code MHLYIL when booking online to receive the offer. The discount will work when registering quantity = 2 people online with the code. Note that the Super Saver pricing closes 14 June 2017.
NZSC Chairman Mike Knowles will be speaking at the summit with a presentation about Shipping Trends – local and international impacts. NZSC government relations adviser Charles Finny is also presenting at the summit with a presentation on geopolitical macroeconomic factors, global trade flows and their impact on New Zealand.

The Election 2017 Transport Summit – 22nd August, Wellington

The Election 2017 Transport Summit is billed as an opportunity to find out what politicians’ plans are for the future of transport policy in NZ.  It features a panel discussion of transport spokespeople from across teh major political parties and will examine the issues of resilience and vulnerability, technology and innovation, and sustainability in transport.

Membership News

NZSC farewells several long-serving member representatives whose contributions to the Council have been highly valued:

Chis Wakelin has been involved with the NZ Shippers Council since 2005 but with a change of employment, will now be stepping down as Norske Skog’s representative.  Norske Skog’s new representative on teh Shippers Council is Rachael Savage.

Ross Dobbie has been involved with the Council for many years as Pan Pacific Forest Product’s representative.  Ross finished his employment with Pan Pacific at the end of April and his (interim) replacement on the Council is managing Director, Doug Ducker.

We also farewell Executive Committee member Matthew Foster who has moved to a new role within Synlait.  Synlait’s new NZSC representative is Rob Stowell, General Manager Supply Chain.

We wish the outgoing representatives every success in their new roles and look forward to working with the incoming representatives.

The NZSC Martime School Awards Recipients

This year’s NZSC NZ Maritime School awards were presented earlier this month to recipients Selena Wang and Alex Litvinov. Selena received the New Zealand Shippers’ Council Award – Diploma in Supply Chain Management; awarded to a student who has displayed team work, shown an excellent grasp of the supply chain as a whole, and shown excellent attendance throughout the programme. She is now taking an advanced L6 Supply chain diploma with the NZ Maritime School.

Alex received the New Zealand Shippers’ Council Award – Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain + Shipping Management; awarded to the student judged to be a likely candidate for employment by having gained a high mark in the Logistics Management paper and displaying the unique personal skills required for this industry.

We congratulate both Selena and Alex and trust they will enjoy continued success with their career path.

Funding Grants for Womens Leadership Development in the Transport and Logistics Sector

Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across New Zealand’s transport and logistics sector.
The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $8,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs. The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally via WLNZ’s blended learning model. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to June 30.

Expressions of Interest -To find out more and register interest complete the Expression of Interest form prior to June 16, 2017 is available via:
We encourage NZSC member organisations to support this important development initiative.

Political and Trade News

Two opinion polls (Newshub/TV3 – and Colmar Brunton / One News) are coming out this week.  They will be the first public measure of the impact of the Budget.  The Budget ate further into space that one could have imagined Labour occupying.  Most observers say that Labour reacted to the Budget poorly.

This is possibly good news for the Greens and NZ First as well as National.  Internal polling by the two major parties is suggesting that Labour was around the 28-29% mark and National 47-48% prior to the Budget.  All polls including the outlier Morgan poll are suggesting that NZ First will be the kingmaker this election.

Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
Minister Jacqui Dean will update us at the Strategy Day later this month on the status of the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.  Changes are due to be introduced to the Bill in Parliament.

Customs Act –
Government is also continuing to try to pass the new Customs Act before the election, but time is running out.  If passed prior to the election the new Act will mainly come into force on 1 April 2018, with some provisions coming into force on 1 October 2018.  The Council has been asked to sit on a Reference Group to assist with implementation.  Regular updates will be appearing in this newsletter and we may hold a seminar with Customs towards the end of the year (if the Bill is indeed passed before the election).

Ministerial Advisory Group
Hon Todd McClay held the first meeting of his trade advisory group on 4 May. The meeting allowed a good discussion of the current trade agenda with a focus on prospects for TPP without the US and also of the Government’s new trade agenda.  The discussion was free and frank from both Minister McClay and his officials. This was one of the first public meetings held with the new Director of MFAT’s Trade Negotiations Division Clare Kelly. Minister McClay is open about the fact that the original TPP negotiation should have been more transparent. He is determined that future negotiations will be more open. This was welcomed by advisory committee members.

TPP 11
The prospects for an agreement to proceed with TPP without the US received two boosts this month.  The potential agreement was the centerpiece for Prime Minister English’s talks in Japan. From these discussions it is clear that Japan and New Zealand share a similar vision. A few days later Trade Minister McClay co-chaired a meeting of the TPP 11 countries in Hanoi in the margins of the APEC Trade Ministers’ meeting. The APEC meeting itself ended in some disarray as agreement could not be reached on the final statement (the US would not agree to some of the standard language on free trade and resisting protectionism). In contrast the TPP 11 meeting was remarkably unified. The 11 will try and be in a position to reach a final decision on whether to go ahead and implement the agreement in November. Meanwhile a series of meetings of senior officials will be held to consider the technicalities of how TPP would work. Interestingly they will also consider the possibility of others joining TPP 11. The first of these meetings of senior officials will take place in Japan in July.

While the meeting in Hanoi went well there is much work to do to convince all 11 parties that implementing the TPP agreement without the US is the best way forward.  For some, the lack of the US diminishes the value of the agreement.  There are some who would like aspects of the agreement re-negotiated, or chapters removed.  The re-negotiation of NAFTA (involving Canada and Mexico) and the possible expansion of the Pacific Alliance (involving the three Latin American TPP 11 participants and non-TPP 11 Colombia) is another factor at play.

If all goes well we should expect the new agreement (which we will call TPP 11 until such time as it has another name) will need a new ratification process including a new national interest analysis.  In the meantime Minister McClay is on the record as saying that “TPP 11 represents tariff savings of NZ$222 million each year.  Japan’s National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies has estimated that TPP 11 increase New Zealand’s GDP by 3.4% and is worth an additional NZ$2.5 billion to our economy after 10 years”.

As we go to print there is still no agreement on the way forward.  Saudi Arabia remains the sticking point.

The trade ministers representing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership also met in Hanoi following the APEC and TPP 11 meetings.  The meeting did not achieve great progress.  India seemed particularly discouraged.  India is publicly saying that it is only prepared to remove tariffs on 74% of imports.  Other members are suggesting that at least 92% of tariff lines should be liberalized (even that is very poor compared to other FTAs New Zealand has negotiated).  India also seems very concerned about opening its market to Chinese imports.  On services India seems to be seeking a more ambitious outcome on the temporary movement of skilled workers (Mode 4) than some of the other members (eg Australia).

The prospects for the RCEP negotiation being completed by the end of 2017 are not good.

There have been two positive developments in Europe also.  The election of President Macron in France was one.  A decision by the European Court of Justice on the EU’s ability to negotiate FTAs without votes in individual members state legislatures is another.  The last thing New Zealand wants is to see is the outcome of the EU – New Zealand FTA subject to votes in the French legislature etc.  Essentially the ECJ has decided that such votes are not needed except when it comes to investment and investor state dispute settlement (ISDS).  This is probably good news but it will probably mean that either investment and ISDS is not part of the EU – New Zealand FTA or else subject to a separate agreement.

The focus has been on Brexit and the UK election.


Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) Secretary-General Chris Welsh reports that good progress has been made on two policy fronts; maritime emissions and VGM projects being carried out in Africa by IMO and the World Bank.

GSF has co-sponsored three papers with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands and various Pacific and Island states on maritime emissions strategy.  It also has the backing of the European Commission.

The GSF end game is to block the International Chamber of Shipping’s proposals for a bunker levy, and is building allies in IMO to that end, hence the co-sponsored papers.  The key paper is on Transport Costs and how this will impact shippers, especially from developing countries.  These papers will carry weight in the IMO, especially as they are co-sponsored by three substantial ship owning nations: Denmark, France and Germany.




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