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


Foreign Ownership Neglect at Heart of Trolley Bus Axing

Denis O’Rourke MP

Spokesperson for Transport
2 JULY 2014

Foreign Ownership Neglect at Heart of Decision to Axe Trolley Buses

Wellington ratepayers are paying the price for neglectful foreign ownership of the electricity company that powers the city’s trolley buses, says New Zealand First.

“The decision by the Wellington Regional Council to scrap the trolley buses in 2017 is a backward step for the capital’s public transport system,” says Transport Spokesperson Denis O’Rourke.

“The foreign owner of Wellington Electricity, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Ltd (CKI) and Power Assets Holding limited (Power Assets), listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has failed to upgrade infrastructure. As a result the council has decided to scrap the buses.

“Trolley buses that have served Wellington well for decades, and are the envy of other New Zealand cities, will be scraped because a foreign owner is using New Zealand for monetary gain and is not being a good corporate citizen.

“This Chinese company has no interest in investing in the future of the city’s transport system, it’s here to buy and sell, make money and take it back overseas,” says Mr O’Rourke.

“As New Zealand First has always pointed out there is a vast difference between foreign investment serving New Zealand’s interests and a transfer of wealth.

“The council also needs to examine the $52 million quoted to upgrade the overhead power supply – it is an utterly unreliable and highly exaggerated figure.

“Wellington and New Zealand as a whole should be expanding fully electric public transport systems such as this.

“The intention to replace the trolley buses with hybrid vehicles initially and then to phase in battery powered buses, relies on the unproved suitability and reliability of these new vehicles.

“It is risky and unnecessary when the overhead-powered system already in place is well proven and efficient.

“The overhead lines are owned by the Wellington City Council-owned company Wellington Cable Car and have never been in a better state.

“In 2007 NZ Bus invested about $40 million rebuilding the trolley bus fleet and there have been ongoing improvements. The reliability of the trolleys has improved to about 95 per cent.

“To waste all of this in favour of a new fleet of hybrid buses or battery-powered vehicles of unknown cost and unproven suitability and reliability is utterly crazy.

“This is a decision which shows the folly of having a regional council in charge of public transport planning and tendering while leaving the City Council holding the infrastructure and the costs associated with it.

“The delivery of public transport in New Zealand needs to be urgently reviewed, and this silly decision needs to be reversed,” says Mr O’Rourke.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news