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Government Must Stand Up To Tolls Threats - Brown

Government Must Stand Up To Tolls Threats - Brown

The Government needs to make it clear that it will not be blackmailed by rail operator Toll New Zealand, said New Zealand First transport spokesman Peter Brown.

Mr Brown’s comments follow reports that Toll is threatening to shut down ‘large chunks’ of New Zealand’s rail network and clog major highways with trucked freight if Ontrack, the Government-run owner of the rail tracks, increases Toll’s access fees.

“The Minister should make it clear to Australian-owned Toll that New Zealand would not be held to ransom, and that if it ever threatens to shut down ‘large chunks’ of the rail network it can kiss its monopoly over rail services in this country goodbye,” said Mr Brown.

“Toll made a substantial after tax profit of $53.3 million from its New Zealand rail services last year, and as the exclusive operator of the network it should not be attempting to blackmail Ontrack.

“New Zealand First would be very happy to see the rail network opened up for other operators if Toll continues down the path of reducing services. Given that Toll has taken every opportunity available thus far to do so, it is now time for the Minister make Toll acutely aware of their obligations under the monopoly agreement,” concluded Mr Brown.


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