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Transparency, not bigger bureaucracies

Maurice Williamson MP
National Party Transport Spokesman

25 May 2007

Transparency, not bigger bureaucracies

"The recommendation in the 'Next Steps In The Land Transport Sector Review' released today, to merge Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand is just plain nonsense," says National Party Transport spokesman Maurice Williamson.

"They used to be one entity and were separated for very good reason. While they were one entity they lacked transparency and accountability and were the target of ongoing complaints from right across the land transport sector. One is a funder, one is a provider and they have nothing in common.

"Land Transport New Zealand accepts bids from all over the land transport sector and allocates money based on key priorities. It decides how much should go to public transport, how much should go to the state highway network and how much should go by way of a subsidy to local roads. Because it is not the owner or provider of any of these services it has no conflict of interest.

"Transit New Zealand is a provider the State Highway network and competes for funds against territorial local authorities who provide local roads. They would become both poacher and gamekeeper if they were to merge with Land Transport New Zealand.

"The Ministerial Advisory Committee report was scathing in its criticism of Transit and LTNZ. The worst thing that could now happen would be to remove at least the thin veneer of accountability at Transit and hide its operation inside Land Transport New Zealand.

"National supports some of the other recommendations in the Next Steps review, such as the dedicating of all fuel taxes and charges to the Land Transport Fund. But we certainly don't support this crazy merger proposal," says Mr Williamson.

ENDS

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