Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Take Back the Track petition - Speech Notes

Hon. Jim Anderton
17 October 2001 Speech Notes

Take Back the Track petition

Presentation of Rail & Maritime Union ‘Take back the Track’ petition

Parliament steps.

1.45PM Wednesday, 17 October 2001

I welcome the effort that the rail and maritime Union has put into this petition.

In recent months New Zealanders have strongly expressed their support for public ownership of strategic assets.

There is growing recognition that the state asset sales of the eighties and nineties failed.

Air New Zealand was one example.

It became obvious that New Zealand simply could not afford to lose our national airline.

Its importance for our tourism industry and for thousands of fresh produce exporters is difficult to overstate.

The Government has also made a decision to allow New Zealand Post to establish a publicly-owned New Zealand bank.

The sale of publicly-owned banks led to virtually our entire financial system being owned overseas…along with branch closures, rising fees and declining service.

It is now clear that the privatisation of rail was equally botched.

Recently the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TranzRail.

It will mean that we take back control of the track in Auckland.

The decision secures for Auckland the possibility of developing a comfortable, high-speed passenger rail service to ease Auckland’s congestion problems.

Some critics say that not enough people travel by train to make it worthwhile.

That misses the point.

The issue is not how many people travel on the run-down service that exists today.

The issue is how many people will potentially use a modern, efficient service designed to serve the interests of Auckland.

Concern over the future of rail services is not confined to Auckland.

There are concerns in many other parts of the country – Gisborne-Napier, Northland and the Southerner service to name just a few.

In the South Island the Government has reached agreement with TranzRail and local authorities.

We will subsidise the Southerner passenger rail service for four months while we carry out a study on its long-term viability.

The Ministry of Economic Development is working in partnership with local communities in other parts of New Zealand to try to avoid the loss of further services.

These initiatives demonstrate this Government’s commitment to rail.

I am sympathetic to the aims of this petition, and I can assure you that the Government will consider the issues carefully.

Our rail tracks are an essential national lifeline.

More rail means less congestion on our roads.

Rail is an essential infrastructural link.

It is much better for the environment than alternative forms of transport.

I urge you to keep up your campaign.

The issue of asset sales is far from settled.

Only last Friday the new leader of the National party told the National Business Review: ‘Some assets will be sold.’

The list of assets he speculated on included:

The electricity firms, the Met Service, the CRIs, Air NZ, the Superannuation Fund, the People’s Bank and even the universities.

That is an extraordinary policy at a time when this Government has to clean up the mess in all sorts of sectors from the last round of asset sales.

In forestry, electricity, telecommunications, airlines, banks and railways.

The Labour-Alliance Coalition Government is working hard to fix the mess left after the New Right said all the problems would go away if the assets were sold.

New Zealanders face a choice.

Either we can go back to those failed ‘hands-off’ policies of the past.

Or we can go forward with modern policies of partnership in the interests of all New Zealanders.

I congratulate you on the work you have put into this campaign and I look forward to working with you on these issues in the future.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news