Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Does Nat policy secrecy mean it will re-sell rail?

1 July 2008 Media Statement

Does National's policy secrecy mean it will re-sell rail again?

The return of rail to public ownwership is a triumph for common sense and a reminder of what went wrong when National refused to make clear before the 1990 election that it was planning to sell the asset, Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today, on the return of rail to public ownership.

Jim Anderton led a parliamentary campaign against asset sales at the time, and warned that the privatisation of rail would fail.

"Before it was elected in 1990, National never made it clear to voters it would rush out and sell the trains. The result was a fiasco and a betrayal of voters. In private ownership, the railway never lived up to the promises made. It was asset stripped. Services were run down at enormous economic and environmental cost to New Zealand.

"The entire network was sold for less than the value of the wooden sleepers!

"Because rail has been badly run since before even Richard Prebble infamously betrayed his promise to 'save rail', our roads have been more congested than they needed to be, our businesses have lacked the infrastructure they need to strengthen our economy and our greenhouse gas emissions from transport have risen much more than they needed to.

"Kiwi cash has been flowing overseas to owners in places like Wisconsin and Switzerland - not known for their loyalty to New Zealand. And its shameful past includes a refusal to take responsibility for cruel injuries it caused to a little boy."

Jim Anderton said the failure of rail privatisation was entirely predictable.

"Some assets are a natural monopoly, and a railroad is a pretty obvious example.

"But once again National is refusing to make clear what it would do after an election, just as it did in 1990.

"National had a secret agenda then and its failure to be explicit today about what it would do in office is a reminder that it could sell out New Zealand again," Jim Anderton said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city. ... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>


“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>






InfoPages News Channels