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Feature Article

Partnering for Sustainability with Local Government

In mid-July Fuso New Zealand in combination with Keith Andrews Trucks delivered a special event to coincide with the Local Government NZ Conference in Palmerston North, taking the FUSO eCanter and sustainability message to regional government mayors, councillors and executives.

The event included some of New Zealand’s leading experts from the government, energy, and logistics arenas all meeting to discuss the challenges and smart solutions surrounding NZ’s move towards 30% zero emission transport by 2030.

Local Government Leading Change

Keith Andrews group manager sales & customer experience Kathy Schluter, who led the conference, said that those attending could play a critical leadership role in encouraging sustainable transport by placing greater value on reducing emissions in the tendering and procurement process.

“Fundamentally, leading change in procurement will encourage suppliers to introduce cleaner-greener solutions, including the consideration of EV vehicles, rather than simply tendering based on price,” said Kathy.

And she challenged the audience: “Are we prepared to procure services that are more expensive due to R&D from companies that are willing to front foot it and be pioneers? Could procurement teams extend contracts for those willing to invest in decarbonisation? Talk to your supply chain and support the reduction of your scope 3 emissions!”

One key takeaway was that fleet operators and aspects of local government have already begun testing EVs. These are the leaders that the conference presenters agreed the industry needs for New Zealand to hit its targets. 


Making it Happen

The event provided expert perspectives across the subject. Jörn Scherzer, head of climate & waste at the Hutt City Council, explained how zero-emission vehicles were already successfully at work in the council’s waste and recycling division. Having led this initiative, Jörn painted a clear picture of what good looked like and the roadmap to making it happen from a local government perspective.

Powering the Future

Andrew Renton, senior principal engineer for Transpower, discussed how New Zealand faces a unique social, environmental and economic opportunity in electrifying our transport sector. He also demonstrated how the national grid could supply the electric power required to support the significant uptake of EVs required to meet our national targets – and how companies with real estate could generate and store their own electricity through solar panel installation on warehouse roofs.


The Curve Towards EV

Continuing one of the themes of the conference that ‘we’re all in this together’, Retyna managing director Liz Yeaman highlighted some of the trailblazing systems and thinking taking place around the world to facilitate a smart, efficient transition to zero-emission transport solutions.

Cost Clarity

To help heavy fleet operators gain greater clarity into the cost of transport options, Ara Ake ‘New Zealand’s national new energy development centre’ has launched a free tool to help long-distance heavy freight companies and the public sector better understand the options for decarbonising their road fleet. Jonathan Young, head of policy, research & insights at Ara Ake, demonstrated the scope of the tool, which takes a ‘total cost of ownership’ (TCO) approach to calculating the cost of road freight movements. Young said that Ara Ake hopes this will be a useful resource for public and private sector decision-makers when they are making strategic decisions about transport investments. 


Fuso New Zealand and Keith Andrews thank the expert presenters for their contributions and the audience for their engagement, especially during the Q&A session at the end.

“The power of tonight’s event is in the sharing of knowledge and engaging in a pathway to making sustainable transport happen together,” said Kathy.

“You are not alone - we are there for you today and we will be there for you tomorrow to support and partner with you whenever you need us.”

To find out more or to register your interest in FUSO eCanter or future events visit –