15 Nov 2017 - Mobil Oil New Zealand Limited (Mobil) today announced plans to improve fuel supply capacity for the South Island with the construction of two tanks at its fuel terminal in Lyttelton.
The tanks, which will replace those damaged by a 2014 landslide at Mobil’s Naval Point facility, will be located adjacent to Mobil’s existing terminal at George Seymour Quay and will store petrol and diesel. The company expects to complete the work in early 2019.
· Two new tanks will improve fuel supply capacity for the South Island· To be located adjacent to Mobil’s existing terminal at George Seymour Quay· Construction underway, completion expected in early 2019
“Construction of new tanks will restore fuel storage capacity at our Lyttelton operation, which, along with the Lyttelton-Woolston pipeline and Woolston Terminal, is an important part of the fuel supply chain in the South Island,” said Andrew McNaught, country manager for Mobil. “This project represents a significant investment in New Zealand’s fuel supply chain and demonstrates our commitment to the local market.”
Restoring the Lyttelton fuel terminal’s storage capacity is the latest of several recent major investments by Mobil to enhance its fuel product offerings to New Zealand customers. These include the launch of its new Synergy family of fuels and associated service station enhancements, as well as the upgrade of its bulk fuels terminal at Mount Maunganui. Since 2012, Mobil has invested more than NZ$120 million in its New Zealand operations.
Mobil has been a reliable supplier of quality fuels and lubricants to New Zealand for more than 120 years. The company supplies a nationwide network of more than 170 Mobil-branded service stations and more than 50 unbranded sites. For more information, visit www.mobil.co.nz.
| A Mobil New Zealand release || November 15, 2017 |||
15 Nov 2017 - A report produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the country’s stevedores has suggested that Port Botany has overtaken the Port of Melbourne for container trade due to constraints at the Victorian port, as first reported by The Age. In 2016/17, Port Botany handled 34 per cent of Australia’s container movements, with 33 per cent going through the Port of Melbourne – down from 36 per cent in 2015/16.
While the report did not directly link the Port of Melbourne’s reduced volume to the increasing size of container ships, it noted that it is the most likely port to put limits on the size of ships visiting the country.
The Age noted that the biggest ship to visit Australia, the 347-metre Susan Maersk that docked at the Port of Brisbane in October, would have been unable to travel up the mouth of the Yarra River to Swanson Dock, and its 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) load may or may not have managed to fit underneath the West Gate Bridge.
In a recent newsletter, industry body Shipping Australia wrote that with only one terminal able to take the larger ships – Webb Dock, with Swanson Dock out of reach – “Melbourne is already the limiting factor for the size of ships coming to Australia’s east coast ports and is preventing Australians benefiting from the efficiencies of larger ship operations.”
“The risk is that shipping lines may consider by-passing Melbourne for Adelaide or Sydney and use rail, or a smaller ship feeder service (possibly from New Zealand) to make the connection,” it added.
“This would ultimately cost the Victorian consumer, the Port of Melbourne and the state economy.”
15 Nov 2017 - Max Frank Pecafil Steel Formwork Is More Efficient Than Traditional Formwork
The rate of construction work being done to modernise New Zealand is increasing. In the year ended September 2017, non-residential building consents across the country totalled $6.4 billion – up 5.9 percent from the September 2016 year. The need for better formwork technologies has risen to make construction work faster, more cost-effective and less labour-intensive.
Pecafil is one form of modernisation in the construction industry answering this need for modernisation. It is a formwork solution especially useful for laying foundations formwork, replacing conventional timber or steel shuttering for in-ground construction of pile caps and ground beams.
Designed by Max Frank in Germany and distributed by Fletcher Reinforcing, Pecafil is a specially manufactured material constructed from a steel mesh encased in an outer layer made of reusable, strong, heat-shrunk polyethylene. It is lightweight and self-supporting, supplied by Fletcher Reinforcing as a full sheet or pre-bent off-site according to design requirements. This significantly reduces construction time on-site, promising a quicker transition from breaking ground to pouring concrete.
Continue here to read the full release || November 15, 2017 - 13:07 |||
15 Nov 2017 - One of the largest, and the longest established New Zealand-owned engineering and design consultancy, Harrison Grierson, has announced its merger with Wellington-based spatial information specialists, e-Spatial.
Harrison Grierson employs over 350 people in eight offices across the country. Its four key market sectors are Land and Buildings, Water and the Environment, Utilities, and Transport.
e-Spatial’s expert services include spatial consulting, solution development, data management and technology.
The new stand-alone business unit will be called ‘e-Spatial, a Harrison Grierson company.’
This is the second merger in Harrison Grierson’s 132-year history and is a significant diversification for both companies, says Managing Director, Glen Cornelius. ‘With this new specialist offering, we can undertake a range of different projects for our clients, adding value and enjoying a competitive advantage in many areas.’
In February this year, Harrison Grierson merged with the traffic and transport engineering specialists, T2, to form a new business unit called HGT2.
| A harrison Grierson release || November 15, 2017 - 12:53
15 Nov 2017 - Mainfreight, the transport and logistics group, posted a 1.1 percent gain in first-half profit as strong trading in Australia and improving results in Europe were offset by weaker results in the Americas and Asia. The company said it had expected a better first-half result. Profit rose to $42.2 million in the six months ended Sept. 30 from $41.8 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion.
Mainfreight declared an interim dividend of 19 cents a share, up 2 cents from a year earlier, saying even though it was disappointed in the first-half result it had "ongoing confidence for further improvement at the year-end result," with a stand-out full-year result expected from Australia.
"Our Australian businesses have significant momentum, and we expect full-year results for this region to be at record levels," the company said today. "Our European businesses continue to outperform the year prior, and we are seeing incremental improvements in Asia and the Americas as our new leadership teams settle into their roles."
In New Zealand, revenue rose 10 percent to $317 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation gained 3.5 percent to $38 million. Its domestic operations faced additional costs associated with servicing inter-Island freight movements via road and coastal shipping following the Kaikoura earthquakes last November. Against that, Mainfreight enjoyed "stronger intra-Island volumes, together with an expanded and improving Logistics warehousing operation."
Australian sales rose about 14 percent to A$292.9 million and ebitda jumped 29 percent to A$20.8 million on the back of "strong sales improvement across our domestic and warehousing divisions," it said.
"Both domestic transport volumes and logistics warehousing activity continue to increase as the pre-Christmas season influences October and November trading," it said. "Air & ocean activity remains subdued compared to the prior period."
Mainfreight's Asian operations recorded a 20 percent jump in sales to US$37.6 million but ebitda tumbled 53 percent to US$2 million in the first half, as gross margins "were adversely affected by the decline in inter-company airfreight revenue."
"Senior management changes took effect from early October, with an ongoing focus on branch profitability improvement," it said.
In the Americas, sales fell 10 percent to US$203 million and ebitda fell 14 percent to $8.4 million, partly reflecting the loss of "a significant airfreight import account" from its air & ocean division. Its domestic transport and logistics divisions "did not achieve trading expectations during the period" while at its CaroTrans wholesale business, revenue was "stable compared to the prior period, halting the decline of the previous two years."
Still, it said activity in all its US operations picked up in September and October and it expected to see results for the full year in line with the 2017 result.
In Europe, sales rose 19 percent to 163 million euros and earnings gained 9.8 percent to 8.4 million euros. "Trading through October and November remains ahead of the year prior," it said.
Mainfreight shares last traded at $24.12 and have gained about 16 percent this year.
14 Nov 2017 - The revelation that Winston Peters filed court proceedings against Bill English and Paula Bennett at 4:59pm on the eve of the election makes a farce of his coalition negotiations with National. The decision was made as soon as the special votes gave Lab-Gre-NZF a comfortable three vote margin. Free Press (almost) feels sorry for all those who voted for and even made large donations (when will they be declared?) to New Zealand First but ended up with the former President of the International Union of Socialist Youth for a Prime Minister backed by a clean sweep of seven Maori seats.
For the first time, but very unlikely the last, in this term of Parliament, ACT voted against the whole House. When National abandoned the taxpayer and voted with the Green Party, Labour, and New Zealand First, ACT stood alone against New Zealand’s already excessive entitlement culture being further expanded.
What was the Bill?
National voted to expand (taxpayer) Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks. Labour lied in the process saying the OECD average is 38 weeks (actually 17.7), but most countries have terrible policy we’d be looking over the shoulder of the dumbest guy in class anyway. Continually expanding entitlements has been the road to ruin since at least Roman times, here we are again.
Free Lunches All ‘Round
Paid Parental Leave is just part of Labour’s ‘Great Loosening.’ By abolishing Three Strikes, Andrew Little has told 2,500 of the country’s most violent criminals who have strike offences ‘have one on me.’ Even people who never supported Three Strikes think that’s nuts. Then there’s the first year free for students, but this weekend saw a new loosening from Carmel Sepuloni.
Ms Sepuloni now says that the Government won’t dock the welfare payments of beneficiaries who refuse to name the child’s other parent. This opens the taxpayer up to two kinds of behavior and we don’t know which one is worse: Deadbeat Dads get off Scott-free (who else is going to name them?). Meanwhile fraudsters get to claim maximum benefits while receiving under-the-table child support.
This Government is so hard left that we are starting to miss the Clark/Key era. Lindsay Mitchell helpfully points out this 2004 exchange between ACT’s Heather Roy and then Labour welfare Minister Steve Maharey: Roy: “When will he admit that this is just a rort so that fathers can dodge child support, and why should taxpayers always have to pick up the bill?” Maharey: “It is a rort, and I have said time and time again in this Parliament that fathers must front up to their obligations, and we will make sure they do, as much as we can.” Today’s Labour caucus would expel Maharey for saying such things.
It is not unkind to say Jacinda Ardern did nothing in her first nine years in parliament but it is inaccurate. While she never passed a valuable Private Members Bill, uncovered a major scandal or appeared to do much of anything in nine years, she worked hard on herself and her image.
Off to the Spin Doctor
Free Press has been approached by people astonished to see her reading papers at the airport that weren’t about the country’s future but hers. They appeared to be studies of herself through the eyes of the media. We’d be a lot better off right now if she’d read a bit about international relations.
Secure the Borders
You can’t win power in Australian politics without securing the borders. No Australian politician can give in to Ardern’s posturing on refugees without paying a heavy political price at home. Australian politicians know that giving into Ardern’s offer to take Australian refugees will do two things: One, encourage more to come in the hope they’ll be let into New Zealand and, Two, give the Manus Island detainees entry to Australia with New Zealand passports. They won’t back down because they can’t.
Not Actually Humane
If Ardern wants to help refugees she should adopt ACT’s Canada-inspired policy of allowing community groups to sponsor extra refugees above and beyond the taxpayer funded quota –if they pick up the bill. The Canadians find that private refugee programs perform better than Government ones (Free Press readers won’t be surprised). Her current alternative is just encouraging people to take dangerous boat journeys (and needlessly irritating our most important ally).
The National Party has leapt to the defence of Partnership Schools. The help is welcome as the Schools are the best thing that the previous Government did. In fact, they form the only policy that an incoming ‘left wing’ Government can’t easily stomach. If David Seymour ever feels important enough to write political memoirs we’ll all know how extraordinary this turn of events is.
14 Nov 2017 - The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand maintains its strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). “The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.
“We support fair trade that brings real benefit to all New Zealanders – not trade deals that put our rights and our Government’s ability to legislate to protect our people and our environment at risk.
“ISDS mechanisms are a particular threat to environmental protections, with 85% of ISDS cases being brought by corporations focused on exploiting the environment and natural resources.
“The Green Party will be seeking to introduce new measures that require all trade agreements in the future to be part of the solution to climate change, global and local inequality and the protection of human rights.
“Standing in opposition to the TPPA does not make a difference to our relationship with Labour. Indeed it is a sign of the strength of that relationship that we can respectfully disagree on an important issue like the TPPA but still get on with the business of government.
“We made it clear to Labour in negotiations that we cannot support the TPPA, and they understand our policy difference.
“We will continue to use our position in Government to fight for better trade agreements that protect the interests of people and the planet, not just corporations,” said Ms Ghahraman.
13 Nov 2017 - New Zealand’s champion truck driver for 2017 has been found following a highly competitive final of the NZ Truck Driving Championship held at Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton last Friday. Northland’s Simon Reid of SJ Reid Transport proved his knowledge and skill across the many different aspects of the competition to take the victory and the title of NZ’s Champion Truck Driver 2017. The competition was incredibly tight with only a handful of points separating the top few competitors. For his efforts Simon took home a $6,000 cheque courtesy of major event sponsors TR Group and Master Drive Services.
24 regional and company heat winners fought it out across a range of theory and practical tests to find four class winners as well as the New Zealand Young Driver of the Year and the overall champion.
“To even have a chance of winning in amongst such a competitive field requires a high level of competence across a range of disciplines,” says competition coordinator Mark Ngatuere. “It’s not just driving, it’s a detailed technical knowledge of the machinery and the complex matrix of rules and regulations that govern our industry.”
In the rigid sections Sam Linton from Emmerson’s Transport took out the Class 2 competition and Andrew Crandon of Linfox Logistics won the Class 3 & 4 category.
Matthew Jackson of Ben Allen Transport came out on top of the Truck-Trailer Combination section, while John Baillie of Baillie Transport won the Tractor-Semi Combination category for the second year running.
In the ERoad NZ Young Truck Driver of the Year, David Rogers of Tranzliquid picked up the $1,500 winners cheque courtesy of ERoad. This category is limited to drivers 25 years old and younger and grows in strength and numbers every year.
“The Young Driver of the Year category is an important event to recognise some of the excellent young people in our industry and is designed to help inspire those who may be thinking about getting into road transport,” says RTF Chief Executive Ken Shirley.
“The competition steering committee would like to thank John Essex, Geoff Wright, Sandy Walker, Simon Carson, Grant Turner, Jeff Fleury, Hayley O’Connor, the Women in Road Transport network and Chief Adjudicator Don Wilson for their help in putting together such a well-run event. We also appreciate the work that our associations put into to running the regional qualifying heats and supporting the overall event.”
“Andrew Carpenter and his team at TR Group and Master Drive Services, as the major Championship sponsors, deserve a great deal of thanks for their continued support of the event. Without our sponsors events such as this would struggle to get off the ground,” says Shirley.
13 Nov 2017 - The 2017 ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer released today shows Kiwi exporters are feeling confident and expecting orders to increase over the next 12 months, Business New Zealand says.
Optimism is very positive with 71% of New Zealand exporters expecting international orders to increase - this is a jump from 63% in 2016.
The research shows that overall 2017 has been a good year, with just over half (55%) of exporters achieving an increase in international orders.
While the survey was carried out prior to the election, ongoing political support for the export environment will be crucial to ensure Kiwi businesses achieve the perceived upcoming boost to orders.
Exporters responding to the survey cited several key ways in which assistance from the New Zealand Government could help their business. Research and development assistance came out top at 26%, closely followed by help attending trade shows with other NZ companies, and more free trade agreements (both 25%).
ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard said: "The results show that trading with the USA has increased significantly over the past year, with more than half of Kiwi exporters sending orders to the USA and over half (55%) seeing the Trump administration as having a neutral impact on exports, while 41% thought it had a negative impact on exports,” Beard added.
"The fact that R&D has been flagged up as a key area for assistance is significant as more than half (52%) of exporters developed new products and services in a bid to boost export orders. Innovation can be a powerful tool for overcoming the ‘strength of competition in overseas markets’, which is the number one concern among exporters (42%).
Online commerce holds steady The 2017 ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer shows that while some exporters have embraced online commerce, not much has changed in the last two years.
One-fifth of exporters generate more than half of their international orders online, including 6% who generate all export orders this way. There is still plenty of room for growth as 26% said that none of their export orders are generated online.
DHL Express NZ country manager Mark Foy said: "Online commerce is a massive growth area for Kiwi exporters with huge potential to reach international audiences. Currently most businesses, 80%, are only spending one-fifth of their marketing budget online.
"Social media holds much untapped potential to reach overseas consumers looking for innovative and unique goods. However, 68% of companies say they do not use social media to generate orders or enquiries."
While Australia remains by far our number one trading partner (72%), we are shifting towards the ever-growing China (30%) and away from our traditional chief trading partner, the UK (26%), post-Brexit.
A joint initiative between ExportNZ and DHL, a total of 379 New Zealand exporters were surveyed for the ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer 2017.
13 Nov 2017 - Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corp has won a patent case against ResMed in the UK in the ongoing intellectual property dispute for its face and nasal masks across various jurisdictions.
The High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Patents Court ruled a disputed ResMed patent was invalid, with the New Zealand manufacturer entitled to recover its legal costs with the amount yet to be determined by the court, the company said in a statement.
“While today’s ruling is just one more step on the journey, it reinforces our confidence in our position and we are satisfied with progress so far,” chief executive Lewis Gradon said.
In 2016, F&P Healthcare claimed that three of ResMed's European patents were invalid in the UK and should be revoked. ResMed counterclaimed for infringement but did eventually revoke two of the patents, leaving only one before the court.
ResMed argued that patent EP 2 708 258 B1 was infringed by two of F&P Healthcare’s masks used for obstructive sleep apnea therapy, the Eson and Simplus masks. Had the patent been valid it would have been infringed. However, "the court found that the patent was invalid in its entirety." F&P Healthcare said.
Subject to any appeal, this European patent will be revoked in the UK and "this result confirms that UK patients can continue to purchase and enjoy the benefits of our high-performance masks," the New Zealand company said.
The skirmish is the latest in a far-ranging dispute between the two firms, with legal action spanning from North America to Europe to New Zealand.
In October F&P Healthcare said that the Regional Court in Munich had ruled ResMed did not infringe its patents on a German utility model patent. A further case is before the same court regarding another patent with a ruling expected in 2018, pending proceedings filed by F&P Healthcare in the European Patent Office.
In its annual report, F&P Healthcare said it had absorbed pre-tax patent litigation costs of $20.7 million during the year to March 31 and it expects to incur litigation-related expenses at a similar run-rate during the 2018 financial year.
F&P Healthcare shares slipped 0.1 percent to $13.20 but have gained 55 percent so far this year.