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Letter: Monopoly in Pacific shipping lanes

Monday 28 August 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Monopoly in Pacific shipping lanes

To the Editor, Further to the report from Al Williams in Saturday’s paper.

Whilst the general gist of the story is about an errant monopoly, more serious questions should to be fronted and addressed.

It is the government’s role to issue shipping licence access to the Cook Islands trade.

That goes with rules attached, coupled with regular oversight tests to acceptable behaviour.

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for monitoring and oversight.

It failed in this regard. Totally.  

Information sought from MOT by my company with respect to the Matson shipping licence was refused.

Why would that be?

We had to go through an OIA process to get a copy of the licence.

That took several weeks.

The rest of the story has been reported on Saturday.

The licence is expired, there is no publication of tariffs and seemingly, TOA has no legal redress with its claims of unfair treatment, and breaches under the shipping licence rules.

There’s price control regulation on a number of products, with oversight by a price tribunal.

That same tribunal has worked and watched as our claims of unfair treatment came to reality.

The Irony is the price tribunal has no control over international shipping that delivers the products, and in particular Matson.

That Matson shipping claims their services and charges are in line with regional standards is nonsense.

The proper environment to measure that is by asking a competitor shipping company to enter the market with its separate licence so that importers are not forced through the ruse of CCA slot carrier agreements.

Brett Porter