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Kiwirail Heads on the Line Over Fungi Infested Sleepers

Brendan Horan MP
Spokesperson for Transport
01 September 2012

Kiwirail Heads on the Line Over Fungi Infested Sleepers

New Zealand First is demanding that heads roll within KiwiRail over the importation of rotting wooden sleepers infested with two fungi never before seen in our country.

Transport spokesperson Brendan Horan says KiwiRail have admitted that 7000 of the fungi ridden sleepers from Peru have been used throughout the entire rail network.

“This poses a massive biosecurity risk right across the country. The damage that these two new fungi could inflict on the environment could be dramatic.

“One of two things must have happened for the biosecurity breach to occur. Either KiwiRail imported untreated wooden sleepers, or the treatment process was useless.

“KiwiRail management must now do the right thing and make those responsible for this blunder pay with their jobs.”

Mr Horan says Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told Parliament that a visual inspection of nearly 100,000 stockpiled imported sleepers was acceptable for them to be cleared for use.

“The Minister showed how out of touch he is over this issue when he said using a bore test to establish the state of each sleeper was unnecessary.

“His attitude is matched by that of KiwiRail which by releasing a press statement about the fungi biosecurity risk just before 5pm on a Friday shows how desperate they are to obstruct this story from receiving widespread media coverage,” says Mr Horan.


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