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Rail Network Bill tabled

15 March 2005

Rail Network Bill tabled

The Rail Network Bill was today tabled in Parliament by Transport Minister Pete Hodgson.

The Bill sets out to update the legislation under which the rail network operating authority, ONTRACK, operates. In doing so, the New Zealand Railways Corporation Act 1981 and the New Zealand Railways Corporation Restructuring Act 1990 will be repealed. It will also provide ONTRACK with modernised governance arrangements and allows for the carry over of provisions relating to the holding and disposal of rail network land with the intention of preserving the current position.

The Bill will change the status of ONTRACK from being a State Owned Enterprise to a Crown entity.

The Bill will also require ONTRACK to prepare a ten year capital development programme.

"National privatised the railways and oversaw its steady deterioration. This government realises its value to the nation's economy and the travelling public as part of a properly integrated transport network. That's why it bought back the infrastructure for $1 and has agreed to invest $200 million in infrastructure and safety improvements," says Pete Hodgson.

"The Bill has the support of the Greens and is in line with United Future's policy. It is yet another step in the rehabilitation of our national railways."

ENDS

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