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Petty Politics Hampers Rail Negotiation


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Petty Politics Hampers Rail Negotiation

Mayor Jenny Brash should back off and let the Regional Council deal with the crisis in Wellington's commuter rail service, say two Wellington Regional Councillors.

Councillors Chris Turver and Robert Shaw, who represent Kapiti and Porirua, say their people stand to lose if the current complex negotiations with railway companies, Government and TranzRail are upset by petty inter-council politics.

They reacted to a letter sent from the Office of the Mayor of Porirua to Regional Council chairman, Stuart Macaskill. In the letter it is claimed that Stuart Macaskill misled councillors in an information package sent out from the Regional Council late last week.

The Regional Council has done everything possible to keep the other councils informed and to make available to them hundreds of pages of confidential material from the negotiations. The aim has been to keep all the councils fully informed, but not to have them take over the action.

Still, Jenny Brash seems to think that every council should have a part in the ownership and management of the rail service.

Unless her council wants to use its ratepayer's money to buy into the deal, she should stand back and let others get on with the work.

The Minister of Transport, Mark Gosche, in a letter to the Regional Council indicated that he saw no reason why the present line of development should not continue. The present line of development has the regional council seeking a joint venture partner who is an experienced rail operator to take part ownership of the commuter service.

"It is vital that we maintain the rail service but minimise the cost to both ratepayers and commuters. This is the goal of the regional council" they added.

END

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More about Robert: http://robertshaw.freeyellow.com/index.html

From: Robert Shaw 43 Eskdale Road Papakowhai Porirua City NEW ZEALAND

Direct telephone / fax: +64 4 233 0252 Email: robert.shaw@xtra.co.nz


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