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Courageous Ace heads to Wellington

The latest update has been released on progress of the Mitsui Osk Line (MOL) car carriers; the Courageous Ace, the Cougar Ace and the Euro Spirit. 

The Courageous Ace is currently heading towards Wellington with the estimated arrival time of April 14. The vessel will then travel to Lyttelton and then Nelson. 

The vessel is also carrying vehicles from the Cougar Ace and the Euro Spirit (Nelson only). 

The updated schedule is as follows:

The Courageous Ace 
Wellington – April 14
Lyttelton – April 15
Nelson – April 16. 
Lyttelton Port Strikes

The Rail and Marine Transport Union (RMTU) have announced strike action in Lyttelton starting April 20 and ending midnight on April 24. 

Lyttelton Port Company have further advised that the RMTU have issued additional strike notice from April 26 ending midnight on April 29.

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Carpooling website launching in NZ

Easy As Carpooling, an environmentally friendly and economical way of travelling. Carpooling is about sharing one’s personal vehicle with other users to make a common car journey. It is a fast-growing mode of travel that complements all other forms of transport.

“Help us to build a new community of responsible travellers. In this new sharing economy carpooling has a real meaning and will be great for New Zealand,” said one of the directors of Easy As Carpooling, Melisa Cohen to Autofile.

Four French shareholders, who have been living in New Zealand for several years, have created Easy As Carpooling. After living and working in Auckland, they realised the impact of the traffic congestion on Aucklanders. So they decided to build a website that offers a carpooling service for commuters and travellers – Easy As Carpooling. 

You can choose to be the driver and share your car with other passengers who are heading to the same location. Alternatively, you can let someone else drive their car with you and others sharing the ride. Sharing a car journey can be a regular routine, a spur of the moment trip, over both short and long distances.

Why is Easy as Carpooling different from other ride sharing companies?

Easy as Carpooling are passionate about preserving New Zealand’s natural habitat. They strive to protect New Zealand’s pure and green image.

Safety is a key factor – with tools like driver and passenger ID verification, rating system, mobile and email verifications as well as ladies-only rides, all users should be safe on the road.

Three different type of rides are on offer:
●    Ladies Only
●    Road Trip Rides / Travel mates
●    Corporate Rides / Business

Click here for more information.

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Slowdown predicted

The prediction by Winston Peters of an economic correction or slowdown, made at the time of last October’s coalition announcement, appears to be coming true.

Infometrics Chief Forecaster, Gareth Kiernan

Infometrics’ latest forecasts see New Zealand’s economic growth slowing to 2.4 per cent per annum by the end of this year and slipping below two per cent a year during 2019.

A range of factors have combined to drive the slowdown, many of which can be sheeted back to government policy.

Changes in infrastructure priorities will result in a 2.9 per cent contraction in government investment spending between now and September 2019, which is a sharp contrast from the growth that had been predicted prior to the election.

“The dumping of major roading projects in favour of rail and public transport initiatives will create a near-term hole in government investment,” says Infometrics’ chief forecaster, Gareth Kiernan.

“It is possible that some of the slack might be picked up by infrastructure projects as part of the provincial growth fund, but the slow wheels of government mean it could be 2020 before investment spending really recovers.”

Housing market uncertainty could also limit economic growth over the next year as the government clamps down on foreign buyers of residential property and capital gains rules for investors.

Although the market has been stimulated somewhat from the start of 2018 by more relaxed loan-to-value restrictions, developers remain cautious about pushing ahead with new projects given these areas of uncertainty and cost pressures in the industry.

And all indications are that KiwiBuild will provide a smaller and more delayed boost to residential construction than the government has suggested.

The current economic slowdown will amplify the effects of policy changes on migration during 2019 and 2020. Infometrics forecasts that the annual net inflow will ease from 68,900 currently to below 17,000 by early 2021.

This slowdown in population growth will mitigate some of the demand pressures in the Auckland housing market, but the region’s housing undersupply and affordability issues are likely to remain critical.

“We are not arguing that some of the changes being introduced by the Labour-led government, around transport policy, housing, or migration, are not necessary or well-intentioned,” says Mr Kiernan. “But it is becoming clearer that the transition phase could result in a less buoyant performance by the economy over the next couple of years.”

The lack of progress on spending in the near-term is likely to be counterbalanced by faster growth over the medium-term. Infometrics predicts that GDP growth will average 2.1 per cent a year between mid-2020 and mid-2023, a stronger performance than had previously been on the cards.

There will be some catch-up in government investment spending as infrastructure projects get underway, while more expansionary fiscal policy is also likely to be reflected via faster growth in government consumption.

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“Bangers to Bluff” is underway

The Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay’s “Bangers to Bluff” rally is currently well underway, with day two of the rally nearly complete. 

The group of 15 set themselves the challenge of travelling from Auckland to Bluff in a convoy of cheap cars, each bought for $2000 or less, in order to raise funds for Hopeworks Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis NZ. 

Team Protecta’s ‘banger’

Apart of the group is Team Protecta from Protecta Insurance, who are driving a 6-cylinder 1996 Ford Fairmont. Despite the budget car, the group have not encountered any major problems since departing Auckland. The team are currently heading for Fielding.

The event runs over 13 days starting on the 10th April 2018 and finishing on the 22nd April 2018.

To give the drivers a little competition, each car competes for the banger points award, with the objective to gain the most Banger Points.

We will be providing updates on the rally and how Team Protecta progress through the course. 

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Autotrader celebrates

Today – April 12, 2018, marks a special day in Autotrader NZ history, when its 1800th edition of the magazine rolls off the press.

Autotrader maintains a strong position in the market, with current readership (as audited by Nielsen) now averaging 178,000 per issue, and growth in distribution, readership, magazine size, and advertisers.

The magazine is supported by, which generates close to two million page views each month.

Since its inception in 1981, Autotrader has changed considerably to meet the market. When it started Autotrader was primarily private listings delivered in black and white and published monthly, in Auckland.

Now it focuses on dealer listings, is published fortnightly, is in glossy full colour and distributed in both the North and South Island. However, it stays true to its purpose by keeping things simple—providing listings for people who want to purchase a car.

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Glovis Caravel waiting to berth

Mitsui Osk Lines’ vessel, the Glovis Caravel, is currently sitting at anchor waiting for a berth in Auckland’s Port.

At present, there are four car carriers in port with the port also facing major congestion. Not only are some of these vessels going through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ processes and procedures, others are discharging and carrying out transhipping procedures.

A berth for the Glovis Caravel is expected to come free on the 12th April.

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Latest update on MOL PCCs

The latest update has been released on progress of the Mitsui Osk Line (MOL) car carriers; Cougar Ace, Courageous Ace and Primrose Ace.

Cougar Ace

The Cougar Ace has completed full vessel operations in Auckland and Tauranga and has departed New Zealand.

 Primrose Ace and Courageous Ace

Due to delays inbound and in Auckland, both the Primrose Ace and the Courageous Ace will now have identical coastal schedules.

To maximise berth windows on the New Zealand coast it has been decided that all cargo for Wellington, Lyttelton and Nelson on the Primrose Ace  and all cargo that was to load into the Primrose Ace in Auckland has been transferred to the Courageous Ace.

This includes cargo ex the Meridian Ace and Cougar Ace.

Updated schedule for the Courageous Ace is below.

Ports of Auckland yard congestion & Lyttelton Port strikes

 Ports of Auckland have advised that with large discharge volumes expected later this week that the port will experience possible yard congestion.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) have announced strike action in Lyttelton starting from April 20 until April 25. 

We will advise updated schedules for these vessels as soon as possible.

Please find below updated schedule subject to MPI approval and Auckland Departure:

Courageous Ace

Auckland: April 5-12

Wellington: April 14

Lyttelton: April 15

Nelson: April 17

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Heat treatment highly likely

Davin Vinsen, chief executive of VIA

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is likely to insist on heat treatment being used with the aim of not just killing brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSBS), but all insects.

The treatment already used on some vehicles arriving in New Zealand from Japan over the past month will probably be reintroduced when the stink-bug season starts again in September this year and could even become a mainstay of the MPI’s inspection / treatment process into the longer-term future.

David Vinsen, chief executive of VIA (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), told Autofile: “This biosecurity issue – even though costly and disruptive across all of the supply chain – has resulted in some positives. For example, there has been fantastic co-operation between the government, and its agencies, and the industry.”

“Due to our “just in time” supply chain this bio security incursion has significantly affected us and this is one time that having an efficient system has not helped us, and we’ll be further stretched this month with 30,000 units arriving in Auckland.”

Vinsen adds: “It’s highly likely the MPI will insist on heat treatment for future bug seasons at least, and there’s some potential for this to become permanent. What this means for the industry is that border costs will increase and fees are bound to rise for all imported vehicles.

“Biosecurity remains the number-one priority with research, treatments and inspections needing to be funded. On top of this, importers are now required to diligently check all recalls (including for Takata airbags). We expect that costs will increase for inspection companies in Japan and they will have no option but to pass those on.”

VIA, in an email alert to members, advises recent changes to shipping schedules have led to vessels discharging large numbers of used cars with this month’s aggregate of around 30,000 being the largest ever. 

Its urging all businesses to assist by making sure all documentation is in order, compliance centres are open, and receiving yards and transport companies are aware of shipments.

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Vehicle stock influx for April

VIA, the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, have just announced an influx of imported vehicles are being discharged in Auckland. 

Recent changes to shipping schedules due to the stink bug outbreak have led to vessels discharging very large numbers of used cars.

The monthly total of cars into Auckland for April will be around 30,000, which will be the largest ever.

These cars will be urgently needed by importers, and wharf space in April will be considerably pressured.

Vehicles will need to be moved off the port seven days a week, Monday through Sunday, for demurrage to be avoided.

Demurrage is currently $60 per car per day. For most importers that means that compliance centres are going to have to work seven days a week, or large costs will be incurred.

VIA urge all businesses to assist by making sure that all documentation is in order, compliance centres are open, receiving yards and transport companies are aware of shipments, and that they all have everything they need.

Importers: Please ensure that your compliance shops understand the importance and urgency of this request.

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VIA announces additional rules

A technician holds a recalled Takata airbag inflator.

As advised last week, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has announced a mandatory recall for at-risk (alpha type) Takata airbag inflators.

As well as recalling all affected vehicles currently in service, after a grace period of 40 business days (or eight weeks), no affected new or used vehicles will be able to enter into New Zealand if they have not been reworked.

As with the first phase for in-service vehicles, VIA is already working with the Government-accredited inspection agencies on the export side to develop processes for achieving this.

The inspection agencies are now working on systems to identify vehicles subject to recall, and which have been reworked, before they are approved for export.

Vehicles with alpha-type airbags that have not been reworked will be “prohibited imports” and subject to seizure by New Zealand Customs.

VIA will continue to communicate all developments to our members as they arise.

For any questions, please contact VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email

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Autofile survey

Help us continue to enhance the auto industry’s oldest and most trusted magazine.

Here at Autofile, we endeavour to create the best possible magazine tailored to the New Zealand auto industry business sector.

We do know, that engaging readers in niche magazines, like Autofile, we must deliver relevant and interesting content – but what does that mean in terms of engaging you, our reader?

In order to deliver content that is relevant to you, we would like to get to know you better and find out what sections of our magazine you find the most useful, additionally we would love to also know what you would like to see more of in the magazine and how we can improve it.

As a thank you for taking the time to complete our survey, all entries that include an email address will enter a draw for a chance to win a $100 Prezzy Card.

To enter the prize draw, you must complete the survey before midnight on the 20th of April.

Please note that we will not be storing your contact details for anything other than to randomly select a winner for the Prezzy Card.

We look forward to hearing your views!

Create your own user feedback survey

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