The Productivity Commission has released its final report on its inquiry into international freight transport services.
The Report contains the following key recommendations:
- Changing the current governance and ownership arrangements for council-controlled port companies to encourage a more commercial focus, for example by aligning the statutory objective of these companies with that for state-owned enterprises, and legislating to preclude councillors and council staff from being directors of port and airport companies.
- Increasing coordination of investment in freight infrastructure and avoiding excessive direction by central government.
- Lifting workplace productivity by encouraging a shift towards a "hybrid model of unionism" based on high quality union leadership. Recommendations for reforming the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (which applies to unions) may arise out of the Law Commission's review of this Act, expected to be released at the end of the year.
- Removing current exemptions for shipping companies from the Commerce Act 1986 to outlaw any agreements between shipping lines that fix prices and/or limit capacity unless the Commerce Commission judges that their public benefits outweigh any anti-competitive detriments.
- Giving the Ministry of Transport a new function to carry out independent comparative assessments of the financial performance of port companies.
- Improving the gathering and dissemination of information on freight in New Zealand to enhance the decision-making of freight organisations, help stakeholders monitor performance, and assist policy-makers in designing and evaluating policies and regulations.
The full report can be found here.