Issue No1 April/May 2014
Welcome to our first newsletter
As part of our drive to improve communication with members we are launching a bi-monthly newsletter to keep you up to date with activity at the council. The newsletter has been prepared in house and we are keen to get your feedback on what’s good and not so good about the format and content.
Recent changes to the council executive
At last years AGM it was decided that in order to grow the membership base and provide greater value to members the role of Chairman and Executive Officer would be split and a specialist Government Adviser would be engaged.
As a result and after many years in the Chair Greg Stead decided to step down as Executive Chairman to pursue pastures new. The Council have appreciated the contribution Greg has made to the council especially with the Big Ships report in 2010.
When looking to appoint a new Chair the executive decided to appoint from within and Zespri’s Mike Knowles as a long standing member of the Council assumed the role of your Chairman.
New Government Relations and Executive Officer Roles.
In addition to appointing Mike as Chair the council decided to split Greg’s old role to provide more focus on the area of government and the day to day running of the council.
To that end Saunders Unsworth have been appointed as the councils Wellington based government relations advisers to ensure that the council is keyed into all the major decision makers and issues of the day. Charles Finny has been assigned to look after the council and we look forward to working with Charles in the weeks and months to come.
The final change to the team sees the appointment of Peter Morris as your Executive Officer. As a previous council member Peter has worked with the council for the past 6 years and was part of the team responsible for the Big Ships report. After a long supply chain career he is now an Independent supply chain consultant. Reporting to Mike and the executive council Peter is responsible for all co-ordinating the councils work programme and all membership matters.
Government Pushing Ahead with Amendments to Competition Law
The proposed amendments will see international shipping brought under the scope of the Commerce Act and effectively remove shipping’s exemption from competition law. Whilst we are very conscious that as shippers we enjoy excellent service and carrier options, the council on balance support the proposed changes and look forward to working across the industry to build guidelines for carriers to follow and ensure they comply with the new Act. The new bill, if passed in this parliament will give carriers two years to develop guidelines before the act is enforced.
The Ministry of Transport together with NZTA are preparing the groundwork for a review of the legislation surrounding Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM).
The council is participating in the fact finding stage and will continue to promote members interests which hopefully sees a more streamlined permitting process and Local Authorities encouraged to upgrade routes that could carry heavier commercial vehicles.
We are soon to see a new Customs Act focused on:
A move to a principles-based framework for the Act with heavier reliance on regulation, as opposed to legislation in the future.
Allowing information gathered by Customs to be shared more widely around Government agencies (rather than just border control agencies).
Determination of what is commercially sensitive and what is not.
The establishment of new relationships with business. A number of our members will be invited to become “trusted traders” and “border management partners”. This will give new rights and facilitate trade for members but will have new obligations.
Treatment of virtual and digital goods.
Collection of GST and excise and sanctions for non-payment
Again the council is actively participating in stakeholder groups to ensure our members best interests are taken into consideration in any proposed changes.
Global Shippers Forum
Members may not be aware but your Council is a member of the Global Shippers Forum which gives us access to a vast source of resources and a voice at the table when discussing matters of global relevance. A couple of recent examples was the approval by US authorities of the P3 agreement between Maersk, MSC and CMA- CGM. The GSF was successful in ensuring a robust and informed debate took place before the US- FMC inserted new and comprehensive reporting requirements on the P3 before agreeing to the proposal.
Additionally the GSF played an influential role in having the IMO container weighing proposals put on hold whilst the European Commission conducted a study into the benefits and potential impacts of the IMO proposed market based mechanisms which could have added significant cost and inconvenience to shippers whilst not delivering the benefits sought.
Good Progress being made with our strategic plan.
At last years AGM the council approved its three year business plan and strategy to deliver more value to members.
Significant progress is being made with the new executive team in place and proactive involvement on a number of government related issues.
Watch this space for more updates on how we are tracking towards making your council both more relevant and better value for money.
Rebuild of the Council’s website.
One of the key actions identified in the strategic plan was the rebuild of our web site.
We see our website as a key tool in communicating with members and recognized that the current platform was not capable of delivering the improvements we see as necessary.
We have engaged a Wellington based web design team DOMAINZ to carry out a full rebuild of the site which will be launched in May with lots of new and exciting additions to increase the content and make the site easier to use.