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Working together to reduce the cost of doing business

Wednesday, 4 July 2012 9:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council are among 10 organisations to join forces in a bid to increase freight efficiencies throughout the upper North Island.

The goal is to work together for greater freight efficiencies, aiming to in turn reduce the costs of trade - with the upshot being cheaper goods for New Zealanders and a competitive advantage for New Zealand importers and exporters. 

The upper North Island of New Zealand is a critical platform to New Zealand's economic success.  More than 55 percent of New Zealand's freight travels through the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions and collectively these regions generate more than 50 percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product.

The Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA) comprises Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and Hamilton City Council.

UNISA is collaborating with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency to work together on initiatives to reduce the cost to do business in New Zealand - through an upper North Island lens.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin welcomed the initiative, noting that 35 percent of Bay of Plenty freight moves to and from other regions in the upper North Island, much of it through the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand's largest export port.

"This collaboration is crucial for ensuring all organisations are on the same page with regards to land use, infrastructure and development and we expect that working together alongside industry will further enhance the economic performance of the upper North Island," Mr Cronin said.

"Co-ordinated planning of key inter-regional road and rail links is critical to making supply chains more efficient and lifting the economic performance of New Zealand as a whole."

The organisations involved share the view that to invest smarter and deliver better certainty for industry and investors, they need to understand the picture at an upper North Island scale and work together on the critical priorities that will add the most value.

This approach has and continues to involve discussions with industry, operators and ports, to ensure their views are included, and that their needs can be better understood.

Ends

For further media information please contact:
Beck Vass, Communications Advisor, beck.vass@boprc.govt.nz, 0800 884 881 extn 8152 or 027 505 2587.

UNISA image rail bridge Tauranga lowres