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


Govt rail track control more urgent than ever

Government rail track control more urgent than ever

The Halliburton KBR report highly critical of Tranz Rail's safety record was further evidence of the urgent need for the Government to take back control of the national rail track, Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"The report paints a picture of a company desperately cutting corners in order to stay afloat. Tranz Rail seems to be trying to stay in business by shedding staff and safety procedures rather than providing better service," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"The report adds impetus to the Green Party call, repeated frequently since we put it to the Government in April last year, for the Government to resume ownership of the track and tender for the right to run services."

The report's concerns that Tranz Rail had excessively cut staff, unsafely welded track joints to reduce maintenance costs, and had inadequate reporting requirements for rail incidents showed it was even more urgent than ever before for the Government to be in control of the track, Ms Fitzsimons said.

Safety, service and sustainability were key requirements of any national rail service and all three were being run down in New Zealand.

"This was probably the most disastrous of all New Zealand privatisations. It's not possible to undo the mistakes of Ruth Richardson without it costing us some money, but we should bite the bullet and pay now -while there is still a rail system to save," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"In a world constrained by climate change and congested roads, rail is becoming increasingly essential to a sustainable future. Rail is four times more energy efficeint than road per tonne of freight."

The Green Party policy on rail is that a new state-owned enterprise would be set up to own the physical components of the rail network. It could be owned by a joint venture of central and local government where there are commuter rail services. The right to run trains would be the subject of access agreements.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


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>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news