New Zealand freight and supply chain issues paper | Te rautaki ueā me te rautaki whakawhiwhinga o Aotearoa

Closed 24 Jun 2022

Opened 20 Apr 2022


Note: we have extended the consultation period by two weeks in response to a number of requests. Thank you to those who have already submitted feedback which we are now reviewing.

New Zealand’s freight and supply chain system is facing some big changes over the next 30 years with challenges to our resilience, decarbonisation, productivity, and broader wellbeing. We will need to take a strategic approach to prepare our supply chain for the future.

Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport has prepared an issues paper as preliminary work on the New Zealand freight and supply chain strategy. The issues paper presents a view of the big issues facing New Zealand’s freight and supply chain system into the future. It lays out a strategic approach for responding collectively to these issues and taking advantage of opportunities. 

The paper reflects the Ministry’s engagement with a broad range of stakeholders from across the freight sector and supply chain system between August and October 2021. 

More Information

He kupu nā te Minita | Ministerial foreword
New Zealand’s freight and supply chain system plays a vital role in enabling our economy and improving our standard of living by connecting us within New Zealand and with international markets.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed around the world, and experienced in New Zealand, the impacts of major disruption in the freight and supply chain system. These include congestion at ports, the loss in capacity and reliability of air and shipping services, difficulties securing shipping containers and so on – all contributing to a very difficult operating environment, delays in deliveries, and increased costs to businesses and consumers. The pandemic has also highlighted just how complex, extensive, and interdependent the whole system is – when something goes wrong in one part of the system, it has ripple effects on the rest of the system. The grounding of a container ship in the Suez Canal in 2021, and the resulting delays it caused around the world, is one example of this.
While our freight and supply chain system is still grappling with these disruptions, it also faces some fundamental, longer-term shifts especially with climate change, demographic changes, technological advancement, and developments in the international context. These changes make it less likely that we will return to how things were before the pandemic. There are complex challenges involved, but more importantly, there are significant opportunities to review and design the system to achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand.
This issues paper is the first step in that direction. It identifies the key changes in the operating context of New Zealand’s freight and supply chain system, and proposes an approach to developing a New Zealand freight and supply chain strategyfor the next 30 years. Through the development of a strategy, we can build a long-term and holistic view of our system, agree on the outcomes that we want to achieve, and direct resources to priority actions to maximise impact.
Officials have engaged widely across supply chain stakeholders to inform the drafting of this issues paper. I thank those who have shared their time and insights with us during this very busy and challenging period for supply chains. I hope you will participate in this consultation process and give your views. The output of the work can only be as good as the input we all provide from a diverse range of perspectives, experiences, and expertise.
COVID-19 has been hard for many of those involved in the freight and supply chain system, but it has helped us reflect on how the system is performing and vulnerabilities in the current system. To position our system well into the future, we want to take a more strategic, systemic, and coordinated approach going forward.
This is the beginning of an exciting journey. By drawing on your collective knowledge and perspectives I want us to develop a crisp and clear strategy that goes beyond the interests of any one sector at a point in time, to identify the key directions that will serve New Zealand’s collective interests in a fast changing and disruptive world.
Hon Michael Wood
Minister of Transport


Why your views matter

We are seeking feedback on whether the issues and opportunities identified in the issues paper are the most important ones for the strategy to address. Public consultation on the issues paper runs until 24 June 2022 and we encourage you to make a submission.

Feedback from the consultation process will help us prepare the draft New Zealand freight and supply chain strategy which we are aiming to complete by the end of 2022. We intend holding another round of public consultation to gain feedback on the draft strategy in 2023. 

What happens next

Once the cosultation ends, the Ministry's supply chain team will analyse all the submissions. This work will help determine which areas are the most important ones for the New Zealand freight and supply chain strategy to focus on. 

A summary of submissions will be available on the Ministry's website at from July 2022.