Thursday, December 8, 2022

Mike Hosking: Marsden Point's shutdown meant this fuel situation was inevitable

I am told the concern over aviation fuel isn't going to ruin your holiday. In other words, the planes won’t run out of gas.

But the inevitable issue of getting a bit of dodgy fuel was always going to unfold, wasn’t it?

Those of us that questioned the closure of Marsden Point are being proven right already, not that that is any great victory.

I know nothing about fuel, apart from the fact that if you make the stuff locally it stands to reason that you have more control over its production and supply and quality.

The moment you shut up shop and contract the business out, you are at the mercy of those who may or may not be interested in serving you well.

How they didn’t work that out, I don’t know.

Well I do know. It's all about the bottom line and they thought they could get away with it.

It is why the Government announced the other day the forced increase in the amount of fuel that has to be held in reserve.

One of the oil companies wanted it to include fuel on the water, not just physically here.

Fortunately, they were outvoted.

They reassured us at the time Marsden Point got closed that it was a massive non-event, there was plenty of oil and plenty of ships and us doing any of this ourselves was us essentially wasting our own time.

Until, of course, that turned out to be bollocks. Once a bad shipment arrives, then what?

Well, the “then” is what is playing out right now.

You rely on reserves and the reserves will probably be fine. So Christmas isn't off.

But it reminds me of that mad pipe puncture leading into the 2017 election. Remember that?

Everyone got shocked that there was this single pipe pumping all the fuel to Auckland Airport and some digger driver could cripple aviation.

Jacinda Ardern promised to build a second pipe, which you'll be well aware has gone as well as her promise on light rail being finished by last year in Auckland.

The more you do yourself, the more you control, the more flexibility you have. It's a buffer, it’s a safe guard, it's common sense.

It seems these days we ration that.

A bit like jet fuel.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.


Anna Mouse said...

Imagine what water is going to be like now that it will be controlled by 4 entities instead of locally.....

Let's also not forget the need for approval fist to apply any 'fix' you may need to your main line supply et al.

Hugh Jorgan said...

Why has nobody picked on the obvious consequence of this latest clusterf**k resulting from the government's incompetence? That is, reverting from just-in-time supply chain logistics to just-in-case requires increased storage capacity, of which not only the initial investment but also the ongoing time value of product storage is ultimately reflected in the price paid by end-users.