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KiwiRail Fails to Maintain Ferry Lifeboats

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
4 March 2014

KIWIRAIL FAILS TO MAINTAIN FERRY LIFEBOATS

Rt Hon Winston Peters has accused KiwiRail of failing to properly maintain lifeboat equipment on the Cook Strait ferry Arahura.

This follows a recent incident in which a lifeboat was damaged because a wire snapped through lack of routine maintenance and checks.

Mr Peters says the management decided not to carry out all maintenance when the ferry service came under pressure because of the Aratere shambles and other problems.

“The wires on the lifeboats are changed round because of the salty environment but some management genius at KiwiRail decided to ditch this process and as a result the wire broke damaging a lifeboat.

“Then, the same process of thinking was used to save $34,000 by not repairing the lifeboat so Arahura made a number of sailings minus a lifeboat.

“This has happened on one of the roughest pieces of water in the world where Arahura has special responsibilities to aid any other vessel and crew in distress.”

Mr Peters raised the matter in Parliament pointing out that it was just one of a series of blunders involving KiwiRail – like buying stock from China containing asbestos and creating a mess out of the ferry Aratere, which lost a propeller in Cook Strait.

“The board and management have proved time and again they are incompetent at best and dangerous at worst.

“It’s time for radical changes at KiwiRail,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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