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Ready To Talk With Rail Owners

26 June 2001 Media Statement
Ready To Talk With Rail Owners

The government would meet with the likely buyers of the Tranz Scenic network as soon as possible, Transport Minister Mark Gosche said today.

Mr Gosche was responding to the news that Tranz Rail was now negotiating exclusively with West Coast Railway (WCR) as the preferred purchaser of Tranz Scenic.

"But at the moment Tranz Rail has only signed a non-binding term sheet, which is just another step in the negotiating process. The deal is by no means complete and all the details remain to be finalised."

"Discussions on what happens from here will include local government and unions. I am very pleased that WCR have indicated their keenness to work with those groups, and that they have also given an undertaking to employ all existing Tranz Scenic staff.

Earlier Mr Gosche told the House that while the future of some regional rail lines had not yet been confirmed, the government wanted to see appropriate long distance passenger rail services in New Zealand.

"All regional councils have the ability to fund necessary passenger transport services in their regions using money from Transfund NZ in the same way they subsidise rural and urban bus services, or even ferries in some cases."

ENDS

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