Councils join forces on freight
Plans to investigate new cost-effective ways of freighting through the upper North Island will see Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council join forces with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail and Auckland Transport as well as five other councils.
The collaborative initiative is aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing the costs of freighting, which would have a flow-on effect of lowering the costs of goods for New Zealanders, NZTA regional director Stephen Town said.
More than 25 per cent of New Zealand's freight tonnage travels through the Waikato and, with the upper North Island generating more than half of New Zealand's gross domestic product, effective changes would give a competitive advantage for New Zealand importers and exporters, Town said.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said the collaborative study was a critical piece of work, not only for Hamilton and the Waikato but also for New Zealand, and Hamilton City Council was pleased to be involved.
"It will ensure the full story around freight movement and its impact on business and investment is well understood, which is very important for Hamilton given its central location and the importance of freight movement to its local economy," she said.
Waikato Regional Council chairman Peter Buckley said there was value in working with other councils on initiatives because land use and transport investment decisions made in one region often affect neighbouring regions.
"We are lifting our sights so that we are thinking and planning together with our neighbours to support economic activity and efficient supply chain movements in and beyond the region," he said.
Councils from Northland, Whangarei, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Tauranga will also collaborate on the project.
- © Fairfax NZ News