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Transport Infrastructure Under Threat - Brown

Media Release

26 September 2006

Transport Infrastructure Under Threat - Brown

The review of the Napier-Gisborne freight rail line by Australian-owned Toll NZ is the latest example of a foreign-owned company putting profit ahead of the services it should offer, says New Zealand First transport spokesman Peter Brown.

The review comes on top of its decision to axe the Overlander service, and follows Danish shipping company Maersk’s announced intention to force port consolidation in New Zealand.

“In justifying its slashing of rail services, Toll claims it cannot cope with rising costs and must reduce expenditure which is a bit rich coming from a company that last year made an after tax profit of $53.3 million from its New Zealand operations,” said Mr Brown.

“This is yet another example of a foreign-owned company reducing and downgrading New Zealand’s vital transport infrastructure in its own self-interest.

“Despite the Government’s claims of support for increased use of rail and maritime transport it has failed to protect the services currently in place. It has certainly done nothing to enhance coastal shipping, and has only talked about improving rail services.

“The time has come for the Government to start walking the talk rather than continuing to stand aside while these services are run down and exploited by foreign companies”, concluded Mr Brown.


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