Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Council Votes To Buy Passenger Rail Services

NEWS RELEASE

5 October, 2001

Council Votes To Return Wellington’s Passenger Rail Services To Public Control

The Wellington Regional Council voted today to proceed with the process of returning Wellington’s passenger rail service to public control. The vote was thirteen to one in favour.

“I believe this decision will in the long term save Wellington’s passenger rail service,” said Council Chairman Stuart Macaskill. “The service is run-down and fragile, and has lacked committed ownership. It is our aim to make sure the people of Wellington have access to a safe, secure and reliable rail service. That is our goal, and public involvement in ownership is the best way to achieve it.”

The Council considered two main options in making its decision. The first option, favoured by the Regional Council, is for the Regional Council to form a 50:50 joint venture with a private sector rail operator, and then together purchase the rail system. The second option, favoured by some of the region’s mayors, is for the Regional Council to purchase 100 percent of the rail system and then franchise its operation to a private sector operator.

Today’s decision authorises council staff to proceed with the 50:50 joint venture option. Council staff will now begin the process of selecting a joint-venture partner, with whom it will approach Tranz Rail to purchase the passenger system.

“There are several benefits to the process we have chosen,” said Cr. Macaskill. “Firstly having a 50:50 joint venture will reduce the up-front cost of purchasing the Tranz Rail system. Secondly, having an experienced rail operator as a joint-venture partner will be very valuable when we come to negotiate with Tranz Rail. It will be harder for Tranz Rail to hide costs, or talk-up the price with a rail operator at our side.”

Cr. Macaskill said a third reason for choosing the joint venture was that this option doesn’t close off the possibility of moving to a franchise arrangement in the future. “We respect the view of the region’s mayors that they prefer a franchise option, and that option is not closed off by this decision. However, that would mean the Regional Council would have to purchase 100 percent of the rail system, without the financial support or knowledge of a private sector partner. We consider that is too high a risk for our Council to bear.”

Stuart Macaskill said that today’s decision was the first, necessary step to purchasing the regional rail services. “The coming months will see a great deal of work done by Council officers to formulate the joint-venture arrangement. We are also committed to undertaking public consultation when a final deal is proposed”.

“Public transport is a core responsibility of the Regional Council. It is vital that we maintain a safe, secure and reliable service for the tens of thousands of regional residents who use the service every day. I am convinced that this decision is in the best interests of the whole Wellington region.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Welcoming The Major Health Reforms

Usually “reform” of government agencies is a cost cutting exercise in disguise, but this morning’s revision of the health system looks totally different. These reforms amount to the biggest shake-up of the health system since the neo-liberal reforms of the early 1990s, which have now been completely reversed. Good. The main ingredients announced by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning have included the setting up of a new and truly independent Maori Health Authority... More>>

 

NZ & Globe: Leaders’ Summit On Climate To Raise Ambition On Climate Action

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined President Biden at the virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the United States overnight. The summit, held for Earth Day, brought world leaders together to galvanise efforts to reduce emissions this decade ... More>>

ALSO:

The Conversation: If We Want To Improve NZ’s Freshwater Quality, First We Need To Improve The Quality Of Our Democracy
Since the fatal Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in 2016, freshwater quality has rightfully been a major political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Major Reforms Will Make Healthcare Accessible For All NZers

Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by Health Minister Andrew Little. “We are going to put the emphasis squarely ... More>>

ALSO:


Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels