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

 

Budget investment builds a solid foundation for rail

The Government's substantial investment through Budget 2019 builds a solid foundation for the future of rail in New Zealand, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says.

Today the Government announced a $741 million appropriation for KiwiRail through Vote Transport over the next two years and a further $300 million available for regional rail projects through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

"More than a billion dollars over two years is an outstanding level of investment from the Government. It's a real shot in the arm for KiwiRail, and a clear recognition of the value rail can add to New Zealand's transport system.

"We know that rail, with 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne of freight carried than trucks, has a key role to play in reducing New Zealand's transport emissions, relieving congestion on our roads, improving road safety and connecting our communities.

"This funding will allow us to improve the resilience of the rail network and invest in much needed wagons, locomotives and improve the productivity of our workshops so that rail services can be more reliable and operate more competitively in the market.

"KiwiRail operates across the country and we want to deliver more benefits to the regions. It's very encouraging that the Government has set aside $300 million for regional rail projects in this Budget, and we will be discussing regional rail opportunities with them".

The breakdown of Budget funding includes:


* $331m towards addressing legacy issues to improve reliability and resilience, such as maintaining existing tracks, signals, bridges, tunnels, new freight handling equipment and a new freight reservation and tracking system.

* $375m towards replacing 900 aging container wagons and start replacing the fleet of 48 South Island locomotives and some shunt engines, which are up to 50 years old; and improving the layout and efficiency of the major maintenance depots at Hutt and Waltham.

* $35m for progressing procurement of two new, rail enabled ferries that will replace Interislander's aging Aratere, Kaitaki, and Kaiarahi ferries.

* Potential to access up to $300m from the PGF for regional rail projects.

Mr Miller also welcomed the Government's announcement of the New Zealand Rail Plan.

"KiwiRail fully supports the New Zealand Rail Plan and will be working closely with the Ministry of Transport as it is developed.
"I see a great opportunity to think strategically about rail, including ensuring that it is integrated into transport planning across the country, and that there are appropriate mechanisms to ensure rail infrastructure is funded sustainably on an ongoing basis.

"For KiwiRail, the New Zealand Rail Plan will help ensure a level of certainty over the longer term, which is crucial for us to make effective commercial decisions.

"Combined with the Budget investment, the rail plan sets the foundation that will allow us to really grow rail for the benefit of New Zealand."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Campbell on: the local body election result in Wellington

For obvious reasons, politics is more of a big deal in the capital city than anywhere else in the country. Even so, fewer than four in ten eligible voters bothered to vote in Saturday’s local body elections in Wellington (turnout 39.66%).

Even less was felt to be at stake this time around than in 2016, when 45% of the electorate voted Justin Lester into the mayoralty.

To put it mildly, the Lester-led Council failed to live up to expectations. Lester will be remembered mainly for the fact that somehow, he managed to lose this election. . More>>

 
 

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>

ALSO:

‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels