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Cancel Tranz Rail lease now: Greens

Cancel Tranz Rail lease now: Greens

Green Co-leader Rod Donald today called on the Government to cancel Tranz Rail's lease of New Zealand's rail network, and take back the track.

The call comes after Tranz Scenic had to resort to bussing passengers between Hamilton and Palmerston North due to heat-buckling tracks.

"Tranz Rail clearly aren't fulfilling their obligations to maintain the rail track," Mr Donald said. "Tranz Rail are irresponsible and negligent, and should be relieved of the rail network."

Making passengers, especially overseas visitors, get off trains and onto buses would have a significant negative effect on our international tourism reputation, Mr Donald said.

"Tourists going home will tell people our rail network is a joke because they couldn't even take a train all the way between Auckland and Wellington. We'll become an international laughing stock."

Mr Donald said the latest development was another chapter in the sorry saga of rail privatisation.

"National should be called to account for selling it in the first place. It has been an abject disaster. Now the Labour government must fix up the mess before it gets any worse."

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