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Stop The Rail Offer: We Have Been Fooled Enough

Media Release

16 May 2003

Stop The Rail Offer: We Have Been Fooled Enough

New Zealand First transport spokesperson Peter Brown said New Zealanders shouldn’t be fooled by the new offer from American company, Rail America to buy Tranz Rail.

“Tranz Rail should not be in the hands of an American company – or any foreign operator,” said Mr Brown.

“The rail track should be owned by New Zealanders, made into an SOE and licensed operators should use the tracks for freight delivery and passenger services, just as they use the roads.

“The ‘comfort statement’ put out by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union in support of the takeover by Rail America could allow all New Zealanders to be fooled again into the sale of our assets to foreign owners. I would have thought that union at least would be a bit more worldly wise and socially concerned by now.

“Let me be blunt, this sale should not occur, the Government should intervene and buy the track. How many times do we have to have our backsides kicked by privatization before we learn?

“It is time this Government learnt its lesson that the only way to have a sound infrastructure is to own and develop it ourselves.

“We should be following the lead of Australia where, in part at least, the tracks are owned by the State and private operators are allowed to use them.

”The Government must start actively buying back the rail track in order that we can have efficient and effective rail services that will benefit all New Zealanders,” said Mr Brown.


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