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The Kiwi Party supports rail buy back

The Kiwi Party supports rail buy back but asks why it took so long?

The Kiwi Party supports the buy back of our rail & ferry assets but it should have been done years ago.

“It has been obvious for many years that the sale of our rail assets was a mistake.

The question is why a government supposedly committed to retain New Zealand’s strategic assets has taken so long,” said the Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock.

“It is right that such strategic assets should be kept in New Zealand control. That does not mean, however, that once an SOE has been established that Kiwi Mum & Dad shareholders should not be given the opportunity on owning a 20% stake in company. A simple New Zealand residency requirement for any shareholder would establish a safe guard against foreign ownership recurring”, said Mr Baldock.

“We should not be deluded into thinking that government ownership will automatically solve all our problems. There is much to be done to maximise the use of our rail network and that will require major investment. Offering an opportunity for willing New Zealand investors rather than yet more money from the taxpayer, perhaps at the expense of tax cuts, should be a priority.

It is also a well established fact in New Zealand that with our long narrow landscape that there is only so much freight that can usefully be carried on rail. Most freight journeys are 100kms or less from locations that cannot be serviced by rail. While investment in rail is clearly needed we must also keep our investment in roads as a high priority if we want an efficient economy and a safe integrated transport network,” he said.

ENDS

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