Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt

KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt

KiwiRail has turned another net loss. This time $248 million. No surprises there.

The government has poured in about $1 billion of taxpayers money since 2010.

That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion.

Lesson number one: accept that rail exists for the common good. It is a public service. Rail takes the pressure off roads, is environmentally friendly and should provide a cost effective way of moving people and freight around New Zealand.

KiwiRail needs to operate efficiently but it does not need to make a profit.

Chuck the SOE model out the window and with it the excessive salaries of top executives. Clearly paying close to $1 mill a year to the CEO and a similar amount to another half dozen or so senior managers does not a profitable enterprise make.

It’s money that could be better spent on training apprentices, for example.

Lesson number two: if the government is going to throw $1 billion dollars at our rail network throw it around here, not at off shore manufacturers. Make sure the full $1billion stays in New Zealand creating jobs for New Zealanders and being fed back into the local economy.

If nothing else New Zealand manufacturers would be able to drip feed new rolling stock into production so that any faults can be identified early in production without whole batches having to be removed from service to be fixed. An added bonus is that the workers at the (now closed) Hillside Workshops can recognize asbestos when they see it and know not to go anywhere near it, much less use it in new rolling stock.

The final lesson: do not reprivatize. Under no circumstances sell off our rail network again. That is why KiwiRail is in the mess it is in. Previous private owners ran down the network and sold off anything that wasn’t tied down. Our rail network is an essential public asset. Let’s take that on board for once and for all.

New Zealand needs an efficient, effective and accessible railway network now and, more importantly, in the future. The Alliance Party has no quibble with government money being spent on rail. What we can’t stand is government money being wasted when it could be used to improve both our rail system and our economy.

We are told the company is now in talks with Treasury about its future. We wait with bated breath, hoping that common sense and the common good will prevail.

KiwiRail should be a national treasure.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction. However, our current worldview and political paradigm renders us incapable of responding adequately due to its disconnected and divisive default settings.

These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

The Dig: Scoop’s Engaged Journalism Platform Launches
The Scoop Ecosystem has grown bigger with the launch of The Dig - a new public interest, in-depth, Engaged Journalism platform. More>>

 

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

"Shocking And Dangerous": Accused Mosque Shooter's Prison Letter Posted Online

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has sent seven letters from prison and had two others withheld, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Corrections has now blocked the accused gunman from sending or receiving mail... More>>

ALSO:

Standing On List Only: Paula Bennett To Run National’s Election Campaign

The National Party is pleased to announce the appointment of Paula Bennett as our Campaign Chair for the 2020 General Election, President Peter Goodfellow says. More>>

Waiver For State Care Inquiry: Historic Abuse Survivors 'Can Speak Freely'

Abuse in state care survivors can take part in the forthcoming Royal Commission proceedings without being bound by any confidentiality obligations to Crown agencies under their historic claim settlements, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Trail Trial: Sexual Violence Court Reduces Lead-Up Times And Trauma

An evaluation of New Zealand’s first sexual violence court has confirmed that the approach taken in the judge-led pilot considerably reduces the time that cases take to reach trial. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels