Phil Goff is outshining his leader at the moment insisting on state control of a shipping company:
“It’s the smaller Polynesian countries most at risk here – what guarantees have they got that services will be maintained that are not simply on the basis of strict commercial profitability – what about the economic development of the Pacific?”
The upcoming sale had wide ramifications for small island nations and no debate had been had over the plans that could leave them in the lurch, he said.
“We don’t want to end up in a situation where commercial shipping lines can name their own price and leave Pacific countries struggling,” he said.
Goff said the sale seemed to be driven by a short-term desire to cut costs, and called for a wider debate on PFL and Pacific development.
And this fantastic shipping company that Phil Goff and Labour wants us to protect has how many ships?
“PFL was established to fulfil an important need, namely to offer regular shipping services that the private sector was not able to provide in the Pacific,” he said. “Since that time a great deal has changed, to the extent that the PFL no longer fulfils a number of its obligations. It now owns and operates no ships and participates in what is effectively a code share relationship with private sector shippers.” Despite once being a profitable enterprise, PFL has recently financially deteriorated, with losses totalling $14 million in the two years to June 2011.
No ships and losing $14 million in two years…sounds like a bang up investment for us all…perhaps the Maritime Union might like to buy it with their cash reserves?