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Govt seeks more info on Tranz Rail review

10 October 2000 Media Statement

Govt seeks more info on Tranz Rail review

“The government will need to work through Tranz Rail’s plans with Tranz Rail and with other players before it can respond.” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today. He was commenting on Tranz Rail’s release of its new business plan.

“Tranz Rail has given an initial briefing to the Minister of Transport Mark Gosche,” Dr Cullen said. “What it is planning will change the landscape. The government needs to fully understand the implications of the review.

“Tranz Rail wants to run a more efficient operation and I wish it luck. What the company is planning however will have important implications for New Zealand. It will mean changes to the way that commuter operations are run in Wellington and Auckland, the loss of some services in rural areas and the transferral onto roads of a considerable amount of non-containerised goods. The plans bear on the lease under which Government gives Tranz Rail access to the rail corridors."

Dr Cullen said that he and other Ministers would be meeting with Tranz Rail this week to discuss these and other issues. “Tranz Rail says that it wants to explore a number of these questions with the government. We are fully open to that discussion.”

Dr Cullen noted that Tranz Rail had pointed to problems over cost and management issues which they felt put rail at a disadvantage compared with roads. “Government is looking at these questions as part of its wider exercise on land transport,” he said.


ENDS



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