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Save Rail - Again, Peters

“ I am supportive of any moves which result in New Zealanders gaining control and ultimately regaining ownership of their own railway service and associated infrastructure”, said Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First today.

Mr Peters was responding to advice that a New Zealand wide petition was being circulated urging the Government to bring the country’s rail network back under public control.

“For too long, the new right experiment which ran rampant throughout the 1980s and 90s, and which savaged so many of our publicly owned utilities and saw others simply bundled up and hocked off to foreign controlled and owned companies for ridiculously low prices, has inflicted long term pain on our country, and the people and industry served by rail.

“ Those responsible for having cased the demise of the New Zealand railways namely former Labour Member Richard Prebble and the National Party have a great deal to answer for, especially the appalling decision to gift the nationwide railway network of tracks for the paltry sum of $1:00 per year on 20 July 1993”, he said.

“These new right experiments are of the same nature we are currently experiencing within the electricity industry after the previous Government commenced the game of privatising electricity supplies and look at the consequences today- a complete mess”, Mr Peters suggested.

“The profits have been huge for Tranzrail and now that they are having to confront the impact of years of running down of the infrastructure, whilst maximising their profits at our expense, their only reaction is to threaten us with closure of ‘unprofitable lines and services’. That’s not good enough for New Zealanders, and the sooner these overseas tycoons are sent packing, after having stripped us bare, the better”, concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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