Competition, rather than co-operation, is vital for New Zealand's ports, says the chief executive of the country's biggest container and export port.

Competition has lifted the country's ports from a very poor standard of productivity to world-class, says Port of Tauranga boss Mark Cairns. That's despite claims that upper North Island ports are working against each other, to the detriment of NZ Inc.

That concern has been raised by some groups in the freight business, says the interim progress report of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group, released at the end of last month.

The

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