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A note from Mike Horne, CEO, Fullers360

“Fullers360 supports Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement yesterday indicating the declaration of a climate emergency in New Zealand. As Auckland’s largest ferry provider, Fullers360 recognises the compounding contribution traditional modes of transport, such as diesel vehicles, makes to our country’s carbon emissions.

Transporting millions of passengers across the Hauraki Gulf each year, we understand the critical role and responsibility Fullers360 has. Fullers360 believes that electric ferry transport is the future. We take our responsibility seriously to keep the Hauraki Gulf / water environments clean and green, to conserve and protect the environment and ultimately the regeneration of natural life that lives on and within it.

The move to electric ferries alone will avoid importing up to 750m litres of diesel by 2050, equating to 1.5-2.0m tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions nationally. Already, travel by ferry around the Hauraki Gulf reduces carbon emissions by more than 5.6 tonnes each year through people choosing to travel over water with Fullers360 and out of their cars, according to data by NZIER.

Earlier this year, we submitted, with New Zealand boat builder EV Maritime and Vector, a proposal to the Government’s shovel-ready infrastructure scheme outlining the business case for a new generation of sustainable marine transportation in the form of locally designed and built e-ferries and hybrid vessels. We are encouraged by the Government’s motion to address climate change and remain eager to work with the relevant authorities, including Auckland Transport, to advance this process.

We know the public-private-partnership investment approach works. Through an established partnership with Auckland Transport, we celebrated this month the launch of a progressive programme to replace our diesel buses on Waiheke Island with electric buses, making the Island Auckland’s first suburb to have an electric bus fleet.

The move to electric will not only provide economic stimulus locally through high quality sustainable employment but will establish New Zealand as a world leader in a high-profile green technology niche, creating a new exporting opportunity for our electric ferry intellectual property offshore.

This year, COVID-19 has shown us the benefits to the environment of reduced emissions locally, and around the world. We are hopeful that the Government’s position on climate change will enable our business and our strategic partners to fast track the move to electric ferries, so that we can futureproof our ferry fleet to futureproof our environment for generations to come.”