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New North Shore Tranz Rail Building

For immediate release 22 February 2002

New North Shore Tranz Rail Building a Significant Step Forward for Rail

The opening of Tranz Rail's new building in Takapuna signifies another major step forward in the transformation of Tranz Rail into a progressive, innovative freight transport company, says Tranz Rail Managing Director, Michael Beard.

Tranz Rail's new head office at Smales Farm, North Shore, was officially opened today by the Minister of Transport, The Hon Mark Gosche.

The launch was attended by key transport MP's, North Shore Mayor George Wood, other North Shore City councillors, local iwi, and Tranz Rail staff and customers.

Mr Beard says the new offices have been specifically designed to give Tranz Rail a well-planned and comfortable building for its staff and operations.

"Approximately 150 people are employed in our new building, including staff from our Rail Services Group and corporate departments such as health and safety, finance, marketing, legal and human resources," Mr Beard says.

The Rail Services employees include those working in network control, equipment, logistics, documentation and customer services with space allocated for train control operations to transfer from Wellington in the future.

Mr Beard says Tranz Rail has found in Smales Farm a location and building that reflects the company's goal to be an efficient business that is the first choice for freight transport for current and new customers.

"A build to suit facility allowed us to create an open plan environment which will see major improvements in productivity and communication. We also have the added advantage of being closer to a number of our key customers," Mr Beard says.

Mr Beard says operating on the North Shore also gives Tranz Rail access to a large and well-educated population from which to attract new staff. "It also offers us an attractive residential environment for our staff transferring from elsewhere within New Zealand," Mr Beard says.

Mr Beard says he is delighted that Tranz Rail can contribute to the growth of the North Shore region, noting the announcement last week that the North Shore is New Zealand's top performing region in terms of economic growth.

Speaking about the future of rail in New Zealand, Mr Beard says for more than 140 years, rail has been an integral part of New Zealand's transport infrastructure.

"This has not changed," Mr Beard says. "But what has changed is the environment we are operating in. We are now focusing on being a market-driven business that competes effectively with other transport providers and delivers the service our customers require.

"Basing ourselves on the North Shore will ultimately help us achieve these goals," Mr Beard says.


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