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Canterbury Mayoral Forum and Regional Transport Committee freight tour

A lowering of COVID-19 alert levels has allowed the Canterbury Mayoral Forum and Regional Transport Committee to undertake its planned a two-day freight tour of Canterbury today and tomorrow.

The Forum and Committee will visit Christchurch International Airport, Lyttelton Port, Move Logistics, and PrimePort Timaru on 18 and 19 February 2021. While in Timaru, the group will use Timaru’s new on-demand public transport system, MyWay. Health and safety measures appropriate to the alert level have been put in place at each stop.

The intention of the tour is to gain a better understanding of the freight task within Canterbury to progress the transport objectives sought by the Mayoral Forum’s Plan for Canterbury, to inform the work programme of the Regional Transport Committee, and build relationships with key players in the freight industry.

The Mayoral Forum’s Plan for Canterbury and the draft Regional Land Transport Plan identify better freight options as a priority for the region, with both plans expressing a strong desire to shift freight movements off the road and onto rail and coastal shipping.

Mayor Sam Broughton, Chair of the Mayoral Forum, said that “with many of Canterbury’s mayors also on the Regional Transport Committee, we recognised the value of undertaking this tour together.

Both groups have a significant interest in freight transport, and improving transport outcomes for Canterbury and its communities”, Mayor Broughton said.

Environment Canterbury Councillor Peter Scott, Chair of the Regional Transport Committee, agreed, noting that “with the Committee proposing targets for freight movement in the draft Regional Land Transport Plan, visiting these facilities first-hand gives us some good insights into the freight network needs of the future”.

The Forum and Committee are pleased to be hosting Stuart Smith, MP for Kaikōura, Hon Jacqui Dean, MP for Waitaki, and Jo Luxton, MP for Rangitata, on parts of the tour. Canterbury MPs were invited on the tour by Mayor Sam Broughton following a meeting with Canterbury-based parliamentarians in November last year.

While in Timaru, the Mayoral Forum is taking the opportunity to hold its first quarterly meeting of 2021 at the Timaru District Council on Friday morning. The Forum last met in Timaru in 2017.

Mayor Sam Broughton noted that the tour “is a fantastic chance for members of both groups to see first hand Canterbury’s air, sea, rail and road freight network in operation. Ending the tour in Timaru is also an excellent chance for the Mayoral Forum to hold its first meeting for 2021 tomorrow in stunning South Canterbury”.

Items on the agenda for discussion at Friday’s Mayoral Forum include many of the big issues facing local government at present, such as upcoming resource management reform, climate change, the Three Waters review, the Water Services Bill, and the Essential Freshwater reform programme.

For further information, please contact Maree McNeilly, Mayoral Forum Secretariat, 027 381 8924.

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