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Kiwirail Blunders Behind Gisborne - Napier Rail Link Closure

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

3 October 2012

Kiwirail Blunders Behind Gisborne - Napier Rail Link Closure

New Zealand First says KiwiRail’s expensive blunders over the Cook Strait ferry Aratere, buying cheap China-made locomotives, and importing dodgy Peruvian sleepers contributed to the closure of the Gisborne-Napier rail link.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the East Coast is a highly productive export region and even the management of KiwiRail knows the best way to transport bulk goods is by rail but finances are tight because of financial mistakes made.

"There are still problems with the Aratere after it was lengthened in Singapore at great expense.

“Then KiwiRail had to buy the ship at more expense and it is still causing problems and costing money.”

Mr Peters says the financial cost of buying China-made locomotives that weren’t fit for purpose, and the importation of thousands of Peruvian sleepers riddled with foreign fungi, were also significant factors in the closure of the rail link.

“It’s easy to work out that the millions wasted on the Aratere, cheap locomotives, and dodgy Peruvian sleepers could have been used to keep the rail link alive.

“The cost of saving the line is just a fraction of the bungles KiwiRail have engaged in.

"Add to this the frenzy of cost cutting and restructuring and you have mayhem which can be traced back to the management of KiwiRail.

“It isn’t the Gisborne - Napier line that should be going. It is KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn,” says Mr Peters.


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