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Working together in NZ to better help seafarers

Construction NZ Catholic Newspaper

By JEFF DRANE, SM This last year has seen church groups in Aotearoa New Zealand working together more closely to offer a better service to seafarers, as well as cut costs and waste from duplication or competition.
'By JEFF DRANE, SM This last year has seen church groups in Aotearoa New Zealand working together more closely to offer a better service to seafarers, as well as cut costs and waste from duplication or competition.Stella Maris (previously known as the Apostleship of the Sea) is working alongside the Anglican Mission to Seafarers and the International Seafarers Society, as a collaboration of all the other churches.All three groups are now working together to establish what is becoming a world movement of starting Port Welfare Committees.These committees are networks of churches and port authorities, governmental maritime authorities, seafarers’ trade unions, pilots and other agencies working for the welfare of seafarers in a collaborative way.We now also have shared national gatherings and regional gatherings with Australia, so that training and updating for the work is the best.This builds relationships between welfare providers, so when ships travel from one port to another we can refer seafarers confidently and they can access the services they need in the next port.All this is a response to both the Australian and New Zealand Governments signing the Maritime Labour Convention, which, in article 4.4, assures seafarers they will receive welfare services and they will receive them as best practice.Best practice means good mental health, best practice means safe working conditions, it means fairer wages and that they can connect with family and local culture when in port.Seafarers can so easily be exploited in all these areas, but work is ongoing so that their visit can be reasonable and happy.Sunday, July 14, has been designated as Sea Sunday — A Day of Prayer for Seafarers by New Zealand’s Catholic bishops.Fr Jeff Drane, SM, is national co-ordinator of Stella Maris in New Zealand. echo $variable; . The post Working together in NZ to better help seafarers appeared first on NZ Catholic Newspaper .'

We need a reset of priorities

Construction Waiheke Gulf News


'Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, responding to an incendiary public meeting on Waiheke’s unregulated and very expensive ferry services earlier this month, told Gulf News this week that the ferry company is working on costing a possible fare subsidy and he has also asked Auckland Transport to do the same “because we don’t have pots of money just sitting around waiting to be used there”.   He said the focus would likely be solely on commuters.Talking would be best, he said.Good grief.Take a look around.Money is haemorrhaging out of the city – into developer and construction hands mostly.Fullers’ own CEO rides a ferry to work that was established and subsidised by Mr Goff’s Auckland in a sequence of nice-to-have new routes around the inner and upper harbour.All the contracts went to Fullers and all of them are topped up by ratepayer subsidies (which means we pay for them too).   Do the runs have to justify themselves?Do their passengers pay vicious wharf taxes or stump up the capital cost of their wharf facilities?We know full well they pay, on a per kilometre basis, half the fares of the Waiheke service.Waiheke came within perhaps days of getting a new and more responsive local governance model from the Local Government Commission in the last 18 months, proposals by both Waiheke and Rodney being trumped by a decision in the last days of the previous government.Auckland Council’s conciliatory and inclusive ‘pilot’ to give more power to local elected representatives evaporated within months.So Waiheke still pays hefty household rates, the Auckland wide fuel tax, feeds the city’s financial planning fees bonanza and is raked for a raft of other parking and fines revenues as officials parcel out ever more inadequate resources, usually to ensure the least inconvenience to those at the top.We endure an endemic lack of respect or workable consistency in council affairs.Auckland Council can, and does, let certain people off sins against the community (think chopping down fine old trees) with derisory fines or, if you happen to be an effective elected representative, may sue you with the full might of the courts and an apparently bottomless legal budget.Auckland’s CCOs – Auckland Transport, Watercare, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), Regional Facilities Auckland and Panuku Development Auckland – were set up a decade ago by National and ACT to run most services for the Super City along commercial lines at arm’s length from local politicians.Unluckily, they are not arm’s length from Wellington interference and powers of appointment and none have any publicly elected representation.It’s several years since I first pointed out in this column that the airport is seven minutes across farmland from existing rail to Puhinui station and I know of few international airports with such an elegant arrival for any air traveller than a two-harbours route from Mangere through the Orakei Basin to Britomart and its hub to the rest of Auckland.During a meeting I had with Mr Goff during the mayoralty campaign three years ago, he agreed with me (and the opinions of veteran Auckland politician Mike Lee)   that trams are only relevant on short-distance, multi-stop routes.So what happened?Instead, he has allowed former Mayor Len Brown’s airport rail priority to be stalled by AT’s lunatic prospect of trams along Dominion Road, one of the Super City’s busiest commuter routes.They exist only in the imagination at this stage and that project would have to be complete before being extended to the airport.It seems to be in the nature of the Super City and the same mire seems to be infesting the process of sorting out blatant anomalies in our monopoly ferry routes.Auckland Transport spends $477,000 on director fees and $4.4 million on executive salaries and Mayor Goff’s huffing about “not wanting to see any more examples of CCOs being unresponsive to communities and their concerns” is unlikely to abate the AT juggernaut’s powers to spend money on whatever it fancies.We’ve put decades into building our visitor industry, keeping Waiheke a resilient community and striving to keep an enviable distinctiveness in our architecture and landscapes while accommodating appropriate development.Just for once, a nuanced and fairer set of responses would be very welcome. • Liz Waters . The post We need a reset of priorities appeared first on Waiheke Gulf News .'

Work begins to drop public transport fares for low income households

Construction LiveNews.co.nz

Source: New Zealand Government Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Wellbeing Budget will include new funding that could make it cheaper for low income households to use public transport. Budget 2019 will provide
'Source: New Zealand Government Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Wellbeing Budget will include new funding that could make it cheaper for low income households to use public transport. Budget 2019 will provide funding to investigate a scheme to reduce the costs of public transport for Community Services Card holders. “This scheme would make public transport easier to use and reduce costs for low income families,” said Julie Anne Genter. “For too many people transport costs are a real barrier to everyday activities like going to the doctor, taking the kids to school, or visiting friends and family. “Making trains and buses more affordable for those who need it will help to ensure all New Zealanders have the opportunity to be earning, learning, caring or volunteering.  “Between 2013 and 2017 the average weekly expenditure on public transport services among people in the lowest income group increased by 63 percent. We know that increasing transport costs hit households on low incomes the hardest.  “Budget funding of $4.6 million in 2019/20 would be used to cover the cost of operational systems needed to implement the scheme, depending on the outcome of initial investigations. Potential sources of funding for the cost of fare concessions are still being explored. “Central government and local councils are working together to better understand the potential cost of the scheme and how and when it could be rolled out. “This scheme reflects the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Green Party and the Labour Party to investigate a Green Transport Card. I’m excited to be leading this important work to make this scheme a reality,” Julie Anne Genter said. ENDS Note for Editors There are around 900,000 Community Services Card holders in New Zealand. Community Services Card holders include people who receive a benefit from Work and Income, such as recipients of an accommodation supplement or a disability allowance, those not in paid-work, low-income families, people living in social housing, tertiary students that are eligible for a student allowance, and refugees. Approximately 16 percent of tertiary students hold a Community Services Card because they already receive a student allowance. MIL OSI'

New Performance Based Standards released for heavy vehicles

Construction LiveNews.co.nz

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency The NZ Transport Agency has released new Performance Based Standards (PBS) that will help determine whether non-standard heavy vehicles meet the safety performance requirements equivalent to standard vehicles.
'Source: New Zealand Transport Agency The NZ Transport Agency has released new Performance Based Standards (PBS) that will help determine whether non-standard heavy vehicles meet the safety performance requirements equivalent to standard vehicles. The safety performance requirements for a standard heavy vehicle are contained in the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule 2016 (VDAM). However, alternative heavy vehicle combinations such as High Productivity Motor Vehicles have to be carefully designed to make sure they meet the principle set by the VDAM Rule – that they are as safe as a standard vehicle. PBS are therefore used to assess whether a non-standard heavy vehicle will be safe to operate on the road. Safety is primarily determined by how the vehicle fits on the road and its ability to take avoidance manoeuvres at speed without losing control. Previously, PBS were largely based on standards developed overseas. The new PBS are better suited to New Zealand’s more frequently narrow and winding roads. The Transport Agency’s Regulatory General Manager, Kane Patena, says the new PBS encourage better design and safer performance on the network. “In particular they’ll exhibit improved tracking within a lane on tight curves and allow productivity improvements such as being able to simultaneously cart a 20- and 40-foot ISO container. The new PBS will enhance safety while maintaining – or even improving – productivity. “The new PBS provide a transparent and consistent process for assessing non-standard heavy vehicles. They’ll provide certainty to the industry on what truck configurations they can put on the road, particularly for the new High Productivity Motor Vehicle fleet.” The new PBS were developed in consultation with industry representatives. The standards were internationally peer reviewed and extensive computer modelling was undertaken, which was then validated by practical on-road trials. The new PBS are available at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/commercial-driving/high-productivity/performance-based-standards . Also available are the first proforma designs that meet the new PBS. In future, other proforma designs will be released based on identified need, and a framework for assessing unique designs will also be released. MIL OSI'