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Working together to reduce the cost to do business in New Zealand

Tuesday, 2 April 2013 1:00 p.m.

Seven councils, which make up the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA), working together with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail and Auckland Transport, have released the Upper North Island Freight Story and supporting Shared Evidence Base. The UNISA Mayors and Regional Chairs endorsed the Story on 22 March 2013.  Key actions from the Story will inform the relevant partner organisations' work programme for 2013 and beyond.

Over the past twelve months the ten partner organisations have worked together, involving industry, freight operators, ports and local government to decide on the key critical issues and opportunities where the collective partner focus could help deliver freight efficiencies, and to create a shared evidence base that will enable better future decision making.

"It is crucial that we establish a culture of long term collaboration on significant strategic issues across the upper North Island. We need to work together through a shared priority and focus on areas and issues where we can add the most value to enhance New Zealand's economic performance."
Upper North Island Strategic Alliance mayors and regional chairs

The organisations involved share the view that to plan and 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. The shared evidence base builds a picture for the identified issues to help the organisations make better, well informed, decisions.

"The efficient movement of freight through the upper North Island is vital to New Zealand's economic success. This partnership is an example of the kind of collaboration and joined up thinking that we'll need to see more of in the years ahead to deliver the high performing transport system that New Zealand needs to grow and prosper."
Geoff Dangerfield, Chief Executive NZ Transport Agency

More than fifty five percent of New Zealand's freight travels through the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and collectively these regions generate over fifty percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product. The freight task is growing and improving freight efficiency reduces the cost of trade, which can result in reducing the cost of goods for all New Zealanders while increasing the competitive advantage for our country's importers and exporters.

"In delivering an efficient freight network for New Zealand it is important that we work together with other network and land use providers to find integrated solutions. Because rail is such an integral part of the country's freight networks it is an important opportunity to work across the sector to better understand freight flows and industry requirements into the future."
Jim Quinn, Chief Executive KiwiRail

The Story identifies seven critical issues including, a lack of shared and accurate data to support consistent decisions, completion of the High Productivity Motor Vehicle programme, pan regional understanding of significant industrial land use and key strategic road and rail network constraints.

Representatives from across multiple sectors were asked to identify and rank the critical issues they believe are limiting New Zealand's ability to reduce the cost to do business, particularly from an upper North Island perspective. The Upper North Technical Working Group then tested the significance of each issue at an upper North Island scale and then created a shared evidence base for each of the critical issues identified to go forward in the Story.
A full copy of the Upper North Island Freight Story and Shared Evidence Base documents are available here /knowledge-centre/our-library/transportation-publications/

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



UNISA image rail bridge Tauranga lowres