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Time to Do the Sums on Cook Strait ‘Lemon’

Time to Do the Sums on Cook Strait ‘Lemon’

Should the Aratere set sail again across Cook Strait? That’s the question KiwiRail must now ask itself, says New Zealand First.

“Yet again this costly ‘lemon’ has been hit with problems and we have no idea when it will get back on the important run between the North and South Island,” says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Sea trials for the ship have been postponed after cracks were found in the port and starboard rudder stock. The ship has been under repair in a dry dock in Singapore following the loss of a propeller in Cook Strait.

“The Minister responsible should be doing the sums, the bill for the ferry and the constant repairs is spiralling. Maybe it’s time to cut this floating disaster adrift and start from scratch, it is certainly not fit to carry passengers.

“KiwiRail management has been repeatedly warned, but they just won’t face reality over this troubled ship,” says Mr Peters. “The Aratere’s days are numbered.”

In 2011 the Aratere’s hull was lengthened, against expert advice, as part of a $54 million refurbishment, and it has been hit with multiple problems since.


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