Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Inter-regional Rail Journeys A Strategic Opportunity

The local head of global public transport provider Transdev is welcoming KiwiRail’s decision to relaunch the Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington rail service.

However, Transdev New Zealand’s Chief Officer and Managing Director Greg Pollock is also urging the Government to consider overseas travel trends, the opportunities to reduce emissions, and the new technologies that are becoming available, and how they might apply to the North Island Main Trunk Line.

KiwiRail yesterday announced that the Explorer would return in the Summer, to serve the domestic tourism market. The service was suspended in March, soon after New Zealand’s borders were closed to most foreigners.

“Transdev provides public transport services across five continents, and facilitates an average of 11 million journeys each day. From our perspective, good inter-regional public transport services are just as important as good metro public transport services; in terms of connecting communities, supporting economies, and reducing travel emissions,” says Greg Pollock.

“While KiwiRail’s tourism services are iconic, we think there could be room in the market for some innovation, and some new types of services that meet the different travel needs of New Zealanders.

“Internationally, the demand for inter-regional rail services is increasing. This is happening as more people recognise the efficiencies they offer, including the benefits of sleeper trains, and the fact that long distance rail can slash travel emissions,” Mr Pollock says.

“In addition, zero emission rail technologies are developing rapidly, and may soon be able to plug the gaps between the electrified and non-electrified sections of the route between Auckland and Wellington.

“If the Government wanted to test the market for such a service, and provide New Zealanders with a wider range of modern customer-focussed rail services, as New Zealand’s largest passenger rail operator Transdev would be open to becoming involved,” says Mr Pollock.

“Following a successful trial, the next step should be to run a well-subscribed, competitive tender process to deliver the value for money, quality and reliability that customers would be looking for.

“Regardless of who ran it, the service should also take account of the changed needs of the market, post-COVID – including domestic holidaymakers, overseas tourists, or those people who might become overnight commuters,” says Greg Pollock.

According to Mr Pollock it’s clear that the communities along the North Island Main Trunk Line believe it is important that passenger services return.

“It has been great to see the level of support from the communities and councils along the route, which have been lobbying for the resumption of the Explorer service. I’m glad that the Northern Explorer will be back, as it’s an important part of New Zealand’s rail legacy,” says Greg Pollock.

A letter from 18 regional, district and city councils will be presented to Parliament’s Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee in Wellington today (Thursday July 30) in support of the Explorer’s return.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>


NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>


Bankers Association: Banking Becomes First Living Wage Accredited Industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage and gaining greater economic independence for them and their families. As of today, all ... More>>


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>


Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>


Stats NZ: Mixed Performance By Regions Leaves National Emissions Picture Unchanged

Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018, Stats NZ said today. “While some regions reduced their emissions, ... More>>