Blog Archives

Car yard fire in Auckland

A fire at DNA Motors’ car yard in Panmure is under control but caused havoc for motorists.

Dmitry Mayorov, director of DNA Motors in Panmure, told Autofile, “an early commuter noticed smoke coming from the building, around 7am on March 6 and called the fire service.”

“There was an electrical fault in the roof. Luckily someone saw smoke coming from the roof and called the fire service so the damage was not as bad as it could have been.”

He says one car was damaged when the ceiling caught fire and fell into the building.

“The fire service says it is ‘medium damage’ to the building. There will be a lot of work to clean it up. We have spent half the day cleaning and securing the building.”

He says the fire comes on the back of a burglary attempt the night before.

“Lots of people were rubbernecking and taking photos. It slowed down the morning commute for many people.”

The NZ Transport Agency said traffic was backing up on most of Auckland’s city-bound motorways because of the fire, and other crashes and breakdowns. 

But the fire hasn’t closed the yard, Mayorov says it’s business as usual for the dealership.

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Car importer $5000 out of pocket

Luxury car importer thousands out of pocket after brokerage goes bust.

An Auckland luxury car importer is $5000 out of pocket due to customs broker, Online Logistics going into liquidation.

Online Logistics was used by overseas shipping companies to import goods locally, acting as a middle man to pay GST and duties to Customs on behalf of importers in order to clear goods into the country.

On 17 November 2017, an application for putting Online Logistics into liquidation was filed in the High Court at Auckland. The application was heard on Friday 9 February 2018 where the liquidation was finalised. 

An Auckland dealer, who asked not to be identified, ordered a BMW in November through an international shipping company, and paid customs broker, Online Logistics $3938 in GST, a $1300 shipping fee, and $42.82 for a customs transaction fee.


The GST was payable to Customs while the shipping fee was owed to the shipping company.

In order for importers to receive their goods customs brokers must lodge declarations and pay the associated duties and GST on behalf of clients.

After receiving word from the shipping company that it hadn’t been paid, and that the BMW was waiting for clearance in Auckland, the importer said he tried unsuccessfully to contact Online Logistics. 

He told the NZ Herald that he received a letter from the company in January saying it had stopped trading “due to an unforeseen financial situation, and we have been left with no option but to close down immediately”. The letter instructed him to contact another company for his car.

In an email seen by the Herald on Sunday, Customs told the importer they had no record of a payment by Online Logistics on his behalf, despite the company’s invoice saying the payment had been made immediately.

The man had to repay $3632 in GST to clear his car – less than Online Logistics had asked for. The shipping company waived its fee a second time because of the circumstances.

Customs said it couldn’t comment, except to confirm it had applied to the High Court for Online Logistics’ liquidation. A hearing was held in early February.

The BMW importer told the NZ Herald he was now “wary” of importing anything else.

“You would think these people are vetted by Customs but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.”

Although customs brokers must be registered by them to be declarants, there is no public register people can rely on to choose brokers.

“It is quite concerning as it seems quite a few of these guys are complete cowboys, in an industry you would expect to be quite tightly regulated,” he said.

He said Online Logistics would have been aware since November they were facing liquidation, and should never have invoiced him.

“There’s no excuse for it. They should have stopped trading.”

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POAL reveal plans for port

It was another year of strong performance and growth for the Ports of Auckland, (POAL).

Over the past year POAL have started and finished several infrastructure projects that have enabled them to deliver improvements through technology and innovation and handle future growth.

The latest financial year saw a significant lift in cargo volumes across the POAL. The highest growth was in general cargo, which includes vehicles, which grew to 6.5m tonnes, an increase of 12.1 per cent year on year.

Over the past year POAL have started and finished several infrastructure projects that have enabled them to deliver improvements through technology and innovation and handle future growth. 

According to the December report, POAL expects infrastructure developments in the region to continue to fuel growth and demand for the ports services including the import of vehicles which increased again this year to 297,383 units – up nearly 20 per cent from last year.

The report also goes into detail about how moving the import car business out of Auckland into an alternative wouldn’t be sustainable and would result in excessive cost. POAL claim that recent studies show that Auckland is indeed the cheapest and the most environmentally friendly option for the import car trade in New Zealand. Not foregoing the fact that Auckland is also the main market for import vehicles into New Zealand.

The growth in non-containerised cargo has also put more pressure on POAL’s multi-cargo wharves which are operating above capacity. 

POAL Chief Executive Tony Gibson announced in the report that without changes to Bledisloe, Jellicoe, Marsden and Captain Cook multi-cargo wharves, the port will experience worsening congestion in this area.

To deal with this the POAL Draft 30-year Master Plan proposes a number of projects: faster clearance of cars from the wharf and the public preference to move the cars from view, the plan also includes a plan to develop a multi-storey car handling and storage facility with a green park rooftop.

This development would house vehicles currently parked on Captain Cook Wharf and in the Toyota Building at the Bledisloe Terminal and provide additional capacity to cater for forecast import vehicle volume increases.

Next to the car handling building and adjacent to Quay Street, POAL has earmarked space for a new hotel which would have connecting access to the adjoining rooftop park. “This would be a very different and exciting way of achieving a port/city interface” observes Alistair Kirk, POAL General Manager Infrastructure and Property.

The draft plan proposes building a new wharf on the end of Bledisloe multi-purpose terminal. It will be a piled structure, which is in line with POALs commitment to do no further retrieval in the harbour.

To increase their useable area for general cargo, Marsden Wharf will be removed which would allow the unlocking of the two wharves on either side, Bledisloe South and Captain Cook East. This would mean that part of the Bledisloe wharf would finally accommodate two 200m car carriers thereby increasing capacity and enabling the port to meet the challenge of the growing freight task.

Read more on the port development here.




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Auckland Fuel Tax confirmed for July 2018

The price of fuel is set to increase by 10 cents to help fund a series of transport projects, including light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport.

Regional fuel tax is expected to be in place for Aucklanders by 1 July 2018.

Aucklanders can expect the change by July 1, 2018, Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.

The 1 July date would allow the Auckland council to drop its Interim Transport Levy of $114 per household – a three-year measure designed to boost transport funding ahead of new revenue.

The Auckland Mayor Phil Goff will outline his proposals for the city’s next 10-year budget on 30 November with the fuel tax being an important part of the revenue mix.

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Volvo to be involved in new environmental initiative

Floor mats made from fishing nets reclaimed from the ocean

Boats in the Volvo Ocean Race will be equipped with sensors to gather data on climate change, and the level of plastic pollution in seawater around New Zealand, as well as other parts of the globe.

The race covers 38,739 nautical miles and runs for eight months stopping in 11 cities, including Auckland in February 2018.

The environmental initiative means that the data collected will allow for a complete image of both the scale of plastic pollution and its impact on ocean life.

The programme will set up boats in the race with a variety of sensors to capture environmental data from some of the most remote parts of the world’s oceans.

The sensors will gather measurements on temperature, barometric pressure, currents and wind speed, which will help contribute to better weather forecasts.

Furthermore, the sensors will be measuring the levels of salinity, dissolved CO2 and algae in the sea water which will allow for more accurate climate change models to be used by scientists.

Volvo’s New Zealand general manager Coby Duggan says the initiative will help scientists review data that would have been logistically challenging to collate.

“By helping scientists collect data in some of the world’s most extreme sea conditions we hope that this will contribute to a better understanding of the health of the world’s oceans.”

“Our support for the initiative will help overcome the challenges of collecting marine data on this scale – something that would have been otherwise almost impossible,” he says.

Volvo will donate more than $500,000 to support the programme and will also partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an environmental agency which focuses on the conditions of the oceans and atmosphere, says Duggan.

“In addition to our financial support for this programme, we are always looking at ways to introduce more environmentally sustainable design elements into our vehicles – and have even gone as far as making floor mats from nylon fishing nets reclaimed from the sea for one of our new models,” says Duggan.

Earlier this year Volvo became the first major car maker to announce all models would feature an electric motor from 2019, be it in the form of a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric powertrain.

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No more cars on Auckland’s wharves

The views of the Waitemata Harbour being spoiled by rows of cars will be no longer due to a new masterplan from Ports of Auckland, (POAL).

The port company has revealed a draft 30-year masterplan for the 77ha of land it owns on the sea’s doorstep. The plans include a five-storey car park to keep car imports hidden from public view topped with a 1ha waterfront park accessible to the public.

“We’re proposing to build a five-storey car handling building which will provide more capacity, hide cars from view and free up space on Captain Cook Wharf for cruise ships.”

“On top of this building we will create a new waterfront park and next to it on Quay Street, we have earmarked space for a new hotel, or other such building for public use.”

Consent for the carpark will be lodged next year, with a plan to have it completed within five years.

The draft masterplan also involves development plans for a 13m piled concrete extension at the end of Bledisloe Wharf, which the company says is essential for a new berth and the success of other projects.

The extension is guaranteed to cause a stir with critics due to further expansion into the harbour. Last night, Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he did not support further extension of the port into the harbour.

“This is a proposal only and needs to be subject to public discussion. Ultimately it will go through a consent process where public can make submissions,” Goff said.

However, the extension is smaller than previous expansion plans and it is line with recommendations from the Auckland City Council’s Port Future Study last year.

“We’ve developed a draft 30-year masterplan that we think balances Auckland’s economic, social and environmental needs…it creates space for freight and gives Auckland Council the time it needs to make a sound decision on where, when and how to move the port,” Tony Gibson, the port’s Chief Executive, said.

Details of the draft masterplan can be found at:

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Phil Goff involved in C40 Climate Summit

Auckland mayor, Phil Goff, together with the mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, and several other cities committed themselves to a series of ambitious targets to make their cities cleaner, greener and more sustainable. (more…)

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Fuel stocks stable: Z Energy, BP

Disruption continues and the costs are rising following the rupture of a fuel pipeline in Northland on Thursday.

Though nearly 30 flights have been cancelled today, and estimates indicate that the spill may cost up to $15 million, councils and fuel retailers remain positive that the situation is being handled competently.

Z Energy today said that four of its Auckland stations ran out of 95 octane fuel yesterday, due to the company prioritising the delivery of diesel and 91 octane petrol.

The pipeline which connects Marsden Point Oil Refinery and Auckland Airport was breached on a farm near Ruakaka. Source:

The company assured drivers today though that despite yesterday’s shortages, good stocks of 95 octane fuel were continuing to be trucked into Auckland and there should be no Z stations running out of it.

BP also confirmed that its fuel stocks were stable.

“Availability of all fuel grades currently continues at BP sites across New Zealand. This includes Regular 91, Premium 95, Ultimate 98 and Ultimate Diesel as usually stocked,” BP said in a statement released just before midday today.

The pipeline, which carries all aviation fuel to Auckland Airport, is 169km long and operated by refining company Refining NZ, ruptures Thursday following what is thought to be damage caused by a digger earlier in the year.

In an update released at 9am this morning, Northland Regional Council said that around 80,000 litres of fuel has been reported spilled, but that this is not likely to cause any significant environmental damage, owing to the timely response from the refinery.

In a statement yesterday, Refining NZ said that a 30 person team has been working on a 24 hour basis over the last four days to clean up the spill, and that most of the jet fuel has been recovered from the spill site.

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins told RNZ’s Morning Report today that a number of measures were being taken to speed up fuel distribution.

The NZTA was making it easier for tankers to get over-weight permits to be allowed to carry more fuel, Collins said.

Auckland Transport and NZTA were working together to phase traffic lights so trucks could get to fuel stations more quickly.

Auckland Council would also extend the times when fuel drop-offs were allowed in the city, she said.

The Government also said the NZ Defence Force was making 890,000 litres of military fuel available to civilian aircraft, and 20 of their drivers were being drafted in to help local operators manage the workload.

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Ports of Auckland posts annual result

Amid the pre-election politics, Ports of Auckland has released its annual result. According to the Port, profits, revenue, volumes and customer satisfaction are up, while dividends are down.

Container volumes increased 5 per cent to 952,331 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Car and light commercial vehicle volumes lifted a substantial 19.9 per cent to 297,383 units. Breakbulk and bulk volumes (which includes cars and light commercials) were up 11.4 per cent to 6.46 million tonnes.

Ports of Auckland.

Reported net profit after tax was $60.3 million, in line with the Port’s expectations. That profit includes the cost of investments made in sustainability, a review their business model, cyber security, innovation and automation.

Last year’s net profit after tax of $84 million included a $17.6 million gain for an asset impairment reversal.

The Port declared a dividend of $51.3 million, compared to $54.3 million for the previous year, down about 5 per cent.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson noted the issue of cars on the wharf.

“We looked at importing cars via another port, but an independent report from Enviro-Mark showed that Ports of Auckland is the most environmentally sustainable for car imports. Transport costs are also significantly lower through Auckland. So we are working with industry and stakeholders on ways to increase capacity, speed up processing time and reduce the visual impact of cars down town. We will share the results of this work later this year.”

Gibson said overall that he was pleased with the result.

“Our trading profit and dividend are down slightly, reflecting the investments we are making to prepare for the future. This year work started on our Waikato freight hub, we finished our third container berth and our automation project is well underway.”

“For the second year running, we were voted Best Seaport in Oceania by our customers and industry peers in the region.”

The Port says there has been further consolidation in the container industry as a result of mergers and acquisitions and they now have fewer, but larger container line customers.

The Port has also noted a container terminal automation project that is underway, on track for completion in 2019, that will increase capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year to around 1.6-1.7 million TEUs.

“Automation brings significant productivity and sustainability benefits, but it also impacts some of the traditional roles in our industry. We believe that a business like ours which is adopting new technologies has a responsibility to help staff and their families adapt,” said Gibson.




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ATAP report plans future investment

A joint report has been released by the government and Auckland Council.

The report updates work undertaken as part of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) to understand the required level of transport investment needed in Auckland over the next decade.

Bridges says ATAP is an important milestone for the government when it comes to agreeing on an approach to the long-term development of Auckland’s transport system. “However, we know that Auckland’s recent and projected population growth is higher than originally forecast,” he says.

“ATAP agencies were asked to provide an update of how much additional funding may be required in the first decade to meet the challenges of growth. The update identifies an additional $1.9 billion of transport investment will be needed over the ten year period.

This is $1.1 billion less than the amount previously identified by Auckland Council and the total funding required for the decade is estimated to be $25.9 billion, of which $20 billion has already been committed to by central Government ($13 billion) and Auckland Council ($7 billion).

“That leaves about $5.9 billion to be sourced from the Government, Council and the private sector over the next ten year period,” Bridges says.

“The report identifies faster growth is now expected to occur in North and South Auckland requiring some transport investment to be brought forward to support the housing development in these areas. We will also need to bring forward transport investment to accommodate additional public transport demand.”

Key initiatives from the first decade package that would be brought forward into the next three years with this extra funding include:

Advancing development of the “next generation” of State highway projects, including the SH16/SH18 interchange, Southern Motorway widening between Papakura and Drury, improved Eastern Airport Access (SH20B) and the Northwestern Busway.

Accelerating Auckland Transport’s programme, targeting high priority and well developed investments including the Mill Road, AMETI Eastern Busway and associated Reeves Road flyover, the earlier purchase of new electric trains, along with earlier completion of key city centre bus lanes and interchanges.

Completing approximately $250 million of rail network infrastructure upgrades to cater for ongoing rapid growth in rail use and increasing freight volumes, including an additional track from Westfield to Wiri and a variety of key network resilience and performance upgrades.

“Current and committed investments include $3.4 billion for the City Rail Link, $1.85 billion for the East-West Link, and up to $1 billion in upgrades to the Northern and Southern motorway corridors,” Bridges says.

“This is a very useful update of the agreed ATAP programme. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor of Auckland on addressing the remaining funding required for the first decade.”

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Waterview Tunnel opens

The $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel was opened over the weekend, providing a 48 kilometre motorway alternative route, by linking the Southwestern and Northwestern motorways.

The Waterview Connection will provide an alternative route for transport and ease pressure on State Highway One and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the opening of the Waterview Tunnel is the most significant change in Auckland’s transport system since the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959.

“The Waterview Tunnel will transform the way people and freight move around the city, providing more options and a more efficient, resilient and reliable transport system.”

He says that this has been a priority project for the Government because of the significant contribution it will make to NZ’s economic growth and prosperity.

“The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection is New Zealand’s biggest and most complex roading project ever with the twin tunnels completing a key link in the Western Ring Route.

Economic benefits are estimated to be worth $430 million, through improved productivity and reduced travel time, and also include the creation of more than 18,000 jobs during the construction of the tunnel.

“Investing in Auckland’s motorway system in this way will reduce the cost of doing business throughout the country and plays a strong role in supporting Auckland’s growing population,” Bridges says.

In mid-July another two community amenities will open as part of the project.

Auckland’s cycling and walking network will expand further with the opening of the Southwestern Shared Path alongside the motorway between the southern end of the tunnel and the Maioro Street interchange.

Te Whitinga (Hendon footbridge) will also open to connect the suburbs of New Windsor and Owairaka.

The Waterview Connection links the Southwestern (State Highway 20) and Northwestern (SH16) motorways – providing a 48 kilometre motorway alternative route that will ease pressure on SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

“This has been a long awaited and eagerly anticipated piece of transport infrastructure envisioned decades ago. It’s fantastic that New Zealand’s biggest and most ambitious transport infrastructure project is now open to vehicles,” Bridges says.

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