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Politicians unite for Wellington rail solution

MEDIA RELEASE OCTOBER 4, 2001

Politicians unite for Wellington rail solution

Several Wellington central government and local body politicians announced today they will be taking united action to save Wellington’s local rail services.

Green MP Sue Kedgley and United Future NZ Leader Peter Dunne have joined Wellington city councillor Mary Varnham and Wellington Regional Councillor Chris Laidlaw to ensure the survival of Tranz Metro Wellington, which handles 35,000 passengers a day.

They want the government to support the Regional Council’s proposal for a joint venture between the Council and a private sector partner.

The plan has been supported by

- a Booz-Allen & Hamilton report [“Delivery and Governance Options for Wellington’s Urban Railway”] presented to the mayors’ forum this week, and

- a report of the Auditor General, who looked at the issue of potential conflict of interest and gave the Regional Council the green light.

Mary Varnham said the plan was viable, could be speedily implemented and left open other long-term options such as franchising.

“There are a number of excellent private rail operators interested in partnering with the Regional Council. The government should take urgent steps to make sure this can happen.

“Their action should include the buying back the rail corridor in Wellington as they are doing in Auckland.

“The Government has taken a pro-active stance on public transport. Now’s the time to show it’s more than just words.’

For further information, please contact:

Mary Varnham Peter Dunne Chris Laidlaw Sue Kedgley

025-341-471 027-4469-808 934-3143 470-6728

801-9928 479-2298 025-270-9088

Mary Varnham. Sue Kedgley and Chris Laidlaw will be taking the message to Johnsonville commuters at Johnsonville train station tomorrow, Friday, from 7.40 am to 8.12 am. They will take the 7.19am train to Johnsonville, returning to Wellington on the 8.12. Peter Dunne will meet them at Johnsonville Station.


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