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Alliance calls for boost to public transport

Alliance calls for boost to public transport and introduction of 'KiwiPort'

Wednesday 5 November 2008

The Alliance Party says a major overhaul of New Zealand's transport system and infrastructure is urgently needed and can only be achieved by national planning rather than "free market chaos."

Alliance Party transport spokesperson and Te Atatu candidate Bob van Ruyssevelt says the overall goal of the Alliance is an integrated national transport system based around public ownership.

"The Alliance will invest in high quality, affordable and environmentally sustainable transport."

Mr van Ruyssevelt, who works in the transport industry, says key priorities include boosting public transport, focussing on rail and shipping, and ensuring infrastructure is kept in the ownership of the people of New Zealand.

He says the Alliance will promote publicly funded, fully integrated transport systems, such as rapid bus and rail systems in urban areas.

The Alliance has long supported the idea of KiwiRail as the central part of a publicly operated and integrated transport system that utilises rail and coastal shipping, he says.

"The maritime sector is a vital part of New Zealand's supply chain and is too important to be left to free market chaos. The Alliance support the idea of a 'KiwiPort' where ports are brought into 100% public ownership as part of a nationally planned system."

Mr van Ruyssevelt says the Alliance also support the introduction of cabotage to rebuild New Zealand coastal shipping as a key transport mode for the future.

"In addition, Air New Zealand and our airports must be returned to 100% public ownership and operated as a public service."

He says the Alliance will maintain the New Zealand road system to a high standard and end "creeping privatization", such as public–private partnerships and toll roads which are obviously part of the National Party agenda.

"As part of our approach the Alliance will promote research into new transport fuels and seek to decrease reliance on oil."

ENDS

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