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Tranz Rail Deal Threatens Coastal Shipping

Tranz Rail Deal Threatens Coastal Shipping

New Zealand First says the Government’s bail out of Tranz Rail is threatening the future of the coastal shipping industry because of Tranz Rail’s predatory pricing policies.

Transport spokesperson Peter Brown has written to the Finance Minister Michael Cullen pointing out that Tranz Rail has slashed prices to drive competitors such as Strait Shipping and Pacifica out of business.

“Tranz Rail is relying on taxpayers to prop it up while it eliminates all competition through predatory pricing, just like it did with Top Cat, and we are sure that the Government is unaware that it has inadvertently been helping the company do this.

“Rates quoted by Tranz Rail are 65 percent lower today than they were eight years ago. It is little wonder that the company has liquidity problems.

“The potential of taxpayers effectively subsidising an unfair pricing policy that jeopardises alternative and efficient services in the transport sector was possibly unforeseen when the Government bail out was proposed.

“We urge the Minister to act to stop Tranz Rail cynically destroying New Zealand’s transport industry with one hand while holding out the other hand for taxpayer dollars to keep afloat,” said Mr Brown.

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