Why is the review and the development of an Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy important?

The future of New Zealand’s ports, freight services and coastal shipping is critical to lifting and securing the economic well-being of New Zealanders, and promoting opportunities for regional development and employment.

Freight is a key enabler of our economy, and we rely on international freight links to connect our good to the rest of the world. Understanding the drivers of, and uncertainties around, future freight and logistics demand is critical to ensure that New Zealand’s supply chain is fit for purpose in the longer-term.

A system wide review of the Upper North Island supply chain is important because about 55 percent of New Zealand’s freight originates in or is destined for, the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

What is in scope for the review?

The review will consider actions that contribute towards national and regional economic development results and transport priorities. It will set out the independent Working Group's joint view of:

  • the current and future drivers of freight and logistics demand, including the impact of technological change
  • a potential future location or locations for Ports of Auckland, with serious consideration to be given to Northport
  • supporting priorities for other transport infrastructure, across road, rail and other modes and corridors such as coastal shipping.

The review will also identify future challenges on which government and industry will need to work together and set out any key actions to be taken over the next five years.

What is the purpose of the Working Group?

The work will provide evidence and options to inform the configuration of ports, rail and roading that is most likely to meet our national interests, that encourages investment in the regions, and that the Government might need to invest in.

What is the timeframe for the review and development of the strategy?

The Working Group will be working closely with the Minister Jones to establish timelines from reporting on:

  • The findings of the supply chain study, and specifically in the Upper North Island including ports
  • Priorities for investment in rail, roads and other supporting infrastructure, and future challenges on which government and industry will need to work together
  • A feasibility study to explore options for moving the location of the Ports of Auckland, including giving Northport serious consideration

Who are the appointed members of the UNISCS Working Group?

Wayne Brown (Chair)

  • Mr Brown is an experience governor having been the Chair of a number of District Health Boards among other positions and has a deep understanding of local government having been the Mayor of the Far North District Council.
  • He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors New Zealand.

Noel Coom

  • Mr Coom brings a wealth of transport knowledge to this role having spent 46 years in the shipping, rail, freight and logistics sector. 
  • His experience includes being a senior manager in a number of international shipping companies, as well as the previous Group General Manager of TranzRail in New Zealand.

Susan Krumdieck

  • Ms Krumdieck is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Canterbury University and has spent the last 17 years consulting for local government, government departments and community groups on a number of transport, energy and future demand projects.
  • She will bring a strong academic background and in-depth engineering knowledge to this role.

 Gregory Miller

  • Mr Miller has three decades of experience in the logistics and global supply chain sector, having been the Managing Director of Toll New Zealand and the Global Development Manager of Mainfreight Group Limited.
  • He is the incoming Chair of KiwiRail, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics and will bring a wealth of supply chain knowledge both domestically and internationally to the role.

Sarah Sinclair

  • Ms Sinclair is a highly regarded lawyer, working as a construction and infrastructure specialist for MinterEllisonRuddWatts.
  • She has extensive experience acting for both Government and private sector clients in large-scale, complex infrastructure projects.

Shane Vuletich

  • Mr Vuletich has spent the past 17 years consulting on a number of major events, business strategies and providing advice on provisions of tourism and infrastructure.
  • He is currently the Managing Director of the Fresh Information Company specialising in strategy, measurement, evaluation and forecasting, and will bring a strong analytics and economic perspective to this role.

How were the members of the Working Group appointed?

The group needed a range of skills, experience and knowledge that can best assist the Government to develop an Upper North Island supply chain strategy.

The Working Group has expertise in the following areas:

  • economics and business development
  • regional development
  • transport and logistics, including freight
  • infrastructure management, investment and planning.

How will this be funded?

Funding for this work has been reprioritised from the "Vote Ministry of Business, Science and Innovation Economic Development: Regional Growth Initiatives" to the Ministry of Transport

How will key freight and logistics operators and transport infrastructure owners be involved in the review and development of the strategy?

The Working Group will consult with key interest groups and stakeholders.

How will the Working Group’s findings be implemented?

Cabinet will determine how the Government responds to the advice of the Working Group. It is anticipated that, subject to the Government’s endorsement of the review, the findings will form the basis of a government strategy.