The effects of the Port Strike

My mate’s business would probably be described as a medium sized New Zealand-owned business. They import and distribute products used in the construction, infrastructure and resource industries.

This business relies on efficient ports to meet the needs of its customers, who often operate in a ‘just in time’ environment. Over the last month, several ships bound for POAL have been redirected to the next scheduled port of call, often Wellington.

The problem for their customers is that they lose not just hours, but days, to these delays. This means large infrastructure projects are delayed, and it can also mean workers are sent home. While the port union may be, in their eyes, standing up for the port worker the flow on effects to other workers is worrying.

As a business my mate is losing money, mostly from the delays You see, by diverting a ship to Wellington each business then needs to pay hundreds of dollars (per container) on domestic freight. For any ships diverted to Tauranga, businesses
then pay for containers to be railed to Auckland (although this isn’t nearly as expensive as domestic freight).

I realise that businesses losing money doesn’t seem to bother a union leader but for many businesses, the more they can meet customers’ needs and generate money…the more likely they are to employ more staff. It wouldn’t be unusual to defer
employment of a new staff member due to costs incurred in this sort of dispute… the unintended consequences of strikes.

My mate’s businesses isn’t alone. It is not just an issue for Auckland. This is an issue for New Zealand. Without efficient and working ports we cannot have efficient and working businesses that employ New Zealanders.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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