Ferry Cover up Threatens Cook Strait Safety
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
9 April 2014
FERRY COVER UP THREATENS COOK STRAIT SAFETY
Rt Hon Winston Peters has revealed another Cook Strait ferry issue and has called on Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to stop KiwiRail running an unsafe ferry operation.
In Parliament today Mr Peters revealed that the Aratere replacement ferry Stena Alegra has been using twenty times as much lubricant as the other ferries, which indicates serious engine issues.
The ship is out of service today after hitting a wharf in Wellington yesterday. It replaces Aratere which is in Singapore for repairs after a propeller fell off and cracks were discovered in its rudders.
“The KiwiRail Cook Strait ferry service is an absolute shambles yet the Government allows this incompetence to continue, creating a clear and present threat to passengers and other ships on a very dangerous piece of water.
“Stena Alegra is using a huge amount of oil lubricant. It is under constant repair and it cannot take rail freight.
“Arahura is the only ferry left that can take rail freight and if anything happens to this ship, KiwiRail might as well pack in the ferry service and hand it to someone who knows what they are doing.”
Mr Peters says it is inconceivable that Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has not been briefed on the situation.
“The Government has a responsibility to the public and to taxpayers.
“It’s time to sack the board and management at KiwiRail and to bring in experts to sort out the mess,” says Mr Peters.