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.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Govt’s Token Plans For Cyber-Security

Basically, the world is divided into two types of people: those who think the Panama Papers illustrate the bad shit that some people do, and those who think the Panama Papers illustrate what needs to be done to make sure no-one else discovers the shit – good or bad – that they’re doing. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac’s Grudging Concession To Reality

Is this any way to run a health system… whereby terminally ill patients are forced into public demonstrations before the government (and its funding agency Pharmac) will grudgingly provide the money for life-saving treatments freely available and publically funded in Australia for the best part of a year? More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Healthy Homes Bill Passes First Reading

Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Home, And A Way

The one thing even more popular than an Auckland house is offering advice on how to afford an Auckland house. So, on the grounds it can’t be worse than some of the stuff that’s out there, here’s my three cents* worth. [*Up 50% since 2013!] More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news