Nats' rail investment idea is Key trading shares
2 October 2008 Media Statement
Nats' idea of investment in rail is John Key making a quick buck in Tranzrail transactions
The now daily angry press statements from the National Party's deputy leader attacking the government's investment in New Zealand's rail network is a sure sign that National would find an excuse to sell KiwiRail if it ever got into government, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.
"After 18 months of skyrocketing oil prices, and a few days after the British Conservative Party announced its policy to invest 20 billion pound Sterling into substantially upgrading England's rail network, back home in New Zealand the National Party is now issuing daily statements condemning the government's investment in rail," Dr Cullen said.
"Most New Zealanders completely understand the need for this country to develop a modern, integrated transport system that puts New Zealand first, but the National Party doesn't," Dr Cullen said.
"National's idea of investment in rail is when its leader John Key buys and sells TranzRail shares and doubles his profit within a short space of time," Dr Cullen said.
Note to editors: The Labour-led government is currently funding the largest-ever investment in New Zealand’s road network. Over nine Budgets, annual funding for roading has more than doubled from $850 million in 1999/2000 to over $1.9 billion this year. Annual investment in public transport this year is over fifteen times greater than that of 1999/2000.
On 1 July, the government invested $690 million in buying back New Zealand’s rail asset. In July, an $80 million investment was announced in KiwiRail's rolling stock and on 1 October a further $121 million investment in the rail transport upgrade and growth projects was announced.
Public transport funding has been raised by almost 1100 per cent (from the $41 million spent in 1999/00, the last year of National’s government).