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Land Based Piracy

25 June 2004

Land Based Piracy

New Zealand First Transport Spokesperson Peter Brown MP today described the position of the current overseas owned operators of New Zealand’s rail service, as land based piracy.

“The history of the treatment of New Zealand’s taxpayers with respect to their rail service, is about as bad as it could ever get,” said Mr Brown.

“Having had our rail services sold to Americans, who with the assistance of some clever New Zealand high flyers, sacked thousands of staff, ran down the rolling stock, failed to maintain the tracks, profited by millions and millions of dollars, leaving a significantly reduced service stripped of its assets, now sees the taxpayer being asked to provide a further $70 million to upgrade the track between Christchurch and the West Coast, so the present rail operators can haul coal to additionally profit from their investment here.

“Successive Governments, of the left and right, have a great deal to answer for over this sordid affair, and it is a matter of huge regret that I feel taxpayers are once more going to be put over a barrel over saving their rail services,” concluded Mr Brown.


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