Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Rail buy back marks new sustainable transport era

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance


5 May 2008 Media Statement

Embargoed until 10am

Rail buy back marks new sustainable era for transport

The Labour-led government has reached agreement with Toll Holdings Ltd for the purchase of Toll New Zealand’s rail and ferry business, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

“Modernising our transport sector is central to transforming our economy and making it truly sustainable,” Helen Clark said.

“With rising fuel prices and growing awareness about the challenge of global climate change, many nations are looking to rail as a central part of 21st century economic infrastructure.

“A modern rail system can lessen the carbon footprint of our wider transportation network, taking pressure off our roads and allowing our trucking and shipping businesses to operate more efficiently. Combined with an increase of almost 1,100 per cent in public transport investment since 1999, today’s announcement marks a major step forward in building a truly sustainable transport network.”

The government will pay a purchase price of $665 million for the rail and ferry business with settlement on 30 June 2008.

“The selling off our public rail system in the early 1990s and the running down of the asset afterward has been a painful lesson for New Zealand,” Dr Cullen said.

“During the negotiations with Toll it transpired that buying the rail operating business including the ferries was the best way to increase investment in the industry and enable it to be more responsive to the needs of New Zealand customers.

“Running a commercially viable business that was able to contribute to the economic and environmental development of New Zealand was proving extremely difficult without government support.

“The government will now avoid paying subsidies to third parties and we also avoid the on-going disputes over the implementation of the National Rail Access Agreement that had the potential to destroy value in the business and erode the morale of the people who work in it.

“We acknowledge the important role that Toll has played in the industry by increasing the volumes carried by rail and improvements that they have made to the operation of the terminals. We look forward to continuing to work with them in their ongoing freight forwarding business.

“In the months ahead, I will explore options for significant investments in new, modern rolling stock. These will be presented to Cabinet and full details will be made available as soon as possible.”

Dr Cullen will hold a media briefing at 10am. Further details including background material will be provided later in the day.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

State Sector: Government To Apply Pay Equity Principles

Legal changes are not yet in effect but the State Services Commission, on behalf of the government, and the Council of Trade Unions on behalf of unions, have agreed to apply the principles to current pay equity claims. More>>

ALSO:

Throwing Stoners: English Blames Failed Drug Tests For Unemployment

Bill English’s diversionary tactic of condemning of a generation of Kiwi workers as a bunch of drug-takers cannot hide his government’s failure to create opportunities for decent work, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news