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Greens congratulate Dunne on rail U-turn

Greens congratulate Dunne on rail U-turn

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is pleased that the United Future Party has finally seen the sense of the Green "take back the track" policy.

"Peter Dunne has finally agreed with what the Greens have been saying very loudly for the last 18 months: Tranz Rail can no longer be entrusted with operation of the country's rail network and to ensure continued service the Government must own the rail tracks and lease services to those companies most capable of operating them."

Other groups ranging from the rail unions to the Rail Freight Action Group (including Fonterra, Carter Holt Harvey, Solid Energy and Fletcher Challenge Forests) have already joined the call to get the rails back in public ownership and maintain them properly.

Meanwhile, Green MPs are today getting first-hand experience of just how far the rail network has been allowed to degrade.

"All our MPs are using the rail service to get from Wellington to the party's policy conference in Masterton," said Jeanette Fitzsimons. "Already the train carrying our first MP - Metiria Turei - has been forced to stop because of what Tranz Rail has only cryptically described as 'the tracks,' and passengers put on a bus.

"The remaining eight MPs are due to leave Wellington station at 5.29 this afternoon. It could be an interesting journey.

"Now Mr Dunne's seen the light, perhaps other MPs might like to get out of their chauffeured limousines and experience for themselves just what frustrated commuters are complaining about."


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