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What a difference a decade makes

What a difference a decade makes

"What a difference a decade makes. Today we have a centre-left coalition government that is ready to meet its responsibilities to the regions of New Zealand,” said Matt Robson MP

“The Government's decision on Friday to reinvest in rail and to repurchase of the track for $1, the amount it was sold for a decade ago, is a great decision.

"In 1993, we had a National Party Cabinet determined to sell New Zealand to any old overseas bidder regardless of the economic and social consequences.

"A decade ago we had at the Cabinet table the intellectual elite of the current National Party - including one of its candidates for Leader - the Hon. Dr. Lockwood Smith, the Hon. Murray McCully, and the Associate Transport Minister of the day, Maurice Williamson, who were hell bent on selling the public railway system.

"Now the taxpayers of the country have to pick up the tab for their policy errors. The mismanagement of the sale of NZ Rail was enormous and heads should roll over on that side of the House.

"The Ministers responsible for the rail decision, including Progressive Leader Jim Anderton, understand that regions need strong transport networks and the continued presence of rail is vital to assist regional growth and development.

"Ensuring that transport solutions involving rail can be applied to Northland and the East Coast to cope with the upcoming wall of wood. It will protect the ability for coal mined on the West Coast to be exported, and to be shipped to the North Island for electricity generation.

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