Tag Archives: Rail

Port Otago downgraded to regional status only

UPDATED

### ODT Online Tue, 17 May 2011
Maersk to drop weekly service to Australia
By Simon Hartley
Shipping giant Maersk, Port Otago’s largest customer, is dropping its weekly direct Southern Star transtasman service to Australia, the country’s largest trading partner. While the financial ramifications for Otago exporters are unclear, Port Otago will lose 10%, or about 22,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent container units), during the next year.
Read more

(16 May) News of Port of Otago’s downgrade filtered through on (Black) Friday.

It has yet to hit Otago Daily Times’ reporting with any force . . . we might get some analysis if we’re lucky, or interested.

Maersk. Fonterra.
Two cosy words that when read together spell no accident.

It’s been in the offing. Maersk has pulled the rugs on a number of New Zealand ports, Otago included – no doubt to ratchet lower port charges, not merely to facilitate freighting of New Zealand exports into Asia.

It’s far from clear what the costs of reducing local ports of call (in favour of long distance trucking and rail freighting to the North Island’s port of Tauranga) will be for exporters in the Otago Southland region.

We noticed, with suspicion, it was Lyttelton that walked away from a merger with Port Otago. We knew it wasn’t all down to [pretext] #eqnz.

We note too – sadly, for the regional economy – that Otago is frightfully good at exporting raw, not processed, logs. Such a very happy picture we have left of what POL is good for, apart from calls by oil boats and cruise liners.

We lost transhipping with no warning. Wonder if ORC is ruffled or upset. Who knew.

ODT has hidden or failed to surface with the implications of the Maersk decision, preferring to run a diatribe about KiwiRail and “inland ports” for Otago. It’s not as if the subjects are not connected. We expect the local newspaper to make the major news statements and connections palpable, in a timely manner.

A whole weekend has elapsed. Further, Maersk’s decision is in no way surprising, there was ample time for ODT to research the background.

Clues. Fonterra has been using POL logistics to prototype and determine how inland ports can be rolled out across New Zealand.

Worries. Port Otago has been on an export ‘growth wave’, not of its own making, for some years. Does the port board know how to create growth of its own or diversify its activities to meet the challenge dumped on it by (cosy) Maersk and Fonterra?

Did the port company properly attend to risk management before Black Friday?

(Aside) POL chief executive Geoff Plunket reiterates – as we learned from POL’s Peter Brown a few years ago – the company is of the view that State Highway 88 (Dunedin to Port Chalmers) has sufficient capacity to take all trucking freight. Public safety didn’t come into the equation then, and it doesn’t appear to now. But how many trucks won’t be using SH88 at all in the near future.

Lots to think about. Investigation required. News media, DCC, EDU, ORC, Otago Chamber, POL, exporters, port workers, unions, KiwiRail . . . it’s your time to start digging.

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Friday 13 May
nzherald.co.nz Maersk changes to benefit NZ exporters
voxy.co.nz Maersk Line NZ Strengthens Links With Key Regional Hub Ports

Monday 16 May
odt.co.nz KiwiRail backs inland ports

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Related Posts and Comments:
21.2.10 So where’s the media explosion?
26.2.10 Port Otago: “Next generation” project
27.3.10 Why should Port Otago dredge?
21.4.10 SH88 realignment
21.7.10 SH88 realignment – update

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Pre-election opinions on public transport and the stadium

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Sep 2010
Opinion: Transport system must respond to change
By Phillip Cole
One topic doing the rounds during this local election campaign will be sustainable transport. No doubt every prospective councillor will say we need a sustainable form of public transport for Dunedin – but how realistic are the chances of this happening? It is not just about transport. For sustainable transport to ever become a “fact of life” it needs to consider the urban form of the city – not just buildings, open space and roads, but the networks that link them and the activities that make people move around.
Read more

• Phillip Cole is a member of Sustainable Dunedin City and a resident of Dunedin.

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### ODT Online Thu, 16 Sep 2010
Opinion: Pride over prejudice… please!
By Chris Skillett
The elections are almost upon us, and Dunedin is warming to the task of choosing who should act as its stewards for the next three years. Otago looks on. Southland looks on. And there is absolutely no question about what the key issue will be this time around. For all of us, almost without exception, the elephant in the room, which will be trumpeting loud and clear, will be the new stadium.
Read more

• Chris Skellett lives in Warrington.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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D Scene: 2nd birthday, 100th issue

### D Scene 9-6-10 (page 1)
Rail rally
Hillside workers and supporters have vowed to press on with their against the odds campaign to convince their employers KiwiRail to keep a lucrative engineering contract in-house.
#bookmark

Hillside workers rally (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan
About 200 Hillside workers and supporters braved wind and rain yesterday to vent their feelings over state-owned KiwiRails’s refusal to tender for its own contract to supply rail carriages for the Auckland service. Workers at the South Dunedin engineering works and their fellow workshop at Woburn in Wellington have slated their employer’s assessment that the firm can not and should not tender for the multi-million dollar contract – work which an economic assessment has said has said could be worth 1300 jobs and $250 million to GDP.
{continues} #bookmark

Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Parking question (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
More maneuvering of the city’s parking regime may be forced, after complaints by businesses in the Moray Pl arts quadrant. The area’s spokesman David McLeod, of the Quadrant Gallery, said he met with the Dunedin City Council Parking Working Party chairman Syd Brown recently to thrash out several requests from the business community. That included free Saturday parking for the Moray Pl arts and culture quadrant south of the Octagon.

“Why not do something to attract people back to this area – something to revitalise.”
-David McLeod

{continues} #bookmark

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South Dunedin (page 6)
Council planners on the South Dunedin revitalisation project have lots to work with, Dunedin City Council (DCC) city development manager Anna Johnson said. Almost 100 people had their say at a recent consultation event in the suburb and more than 55 had written submissions to the DCC’s South Dunedin strategy document.
{continues} #bookmark

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Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 9)
Your say: Letters to the editor #bookmark
Promises, promises…
By Peter Attwooll, Dunedin Central
We hear Amalgamated Builders Ltd and Lund Construction have missed out on a carpentry contract for the stadium (D Scene 2/6/10). They lose out to an Auckland company which gives a lower price.
{continues}

A scandal
By GR MacDonald, St Kilda
The revelation that Dunedin workers have lost out to an Auckland company over a Forsyth Bar Stadium carpentry contract is truly a scandal.
{continues}

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Labour Weekend – Otago Central Vulcan & Steam Celebrations

Middlemarch 23 – 26 October 2009

All Aboard

Otago Central Vulcan & Steam Celebrations poster

On 7 June 1879 Vincent Pyke turned the first sod at Wingatui to commence the building of the Otago Central Railway to Cromwell. Be part of the re-enactment of this historic event.

Celebrate 130 years of history as you step aboard and make the journey inland in a classic Vulcan Railcar or Steam Locomotive Ab663. Taieri Gorge Railway is also operating services on these pieces of history between Middlemarch, Sutton and Pukerangi utilising the Vulcan railcar, Ab663, and Vintage Diesel Locomotive Dg772.

Photographers and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to purchase day/evening passes to access exclusive locations for that perfect shot.

From floral and art exhibitions, to the might of the locals towing a train, see the toil of soil with the qualifying rounds of the Mobil Silver Plough competition, and celebrate the official opening of the restored Water Tank.

For events information and bookings go to www.dunedintrainfestival.co.nz
or phone 03 4774449.

Supported by Dunedin City Council.

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