Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Rail workers slam KiwiRail as “green-washing hypocrites”

MEDIA RELEASE

Rail & Maritime Transport Union

16 July 2018

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says its members are laughing at the idea KiwiRail belongs in a ‘Climate Leaders Coalition’.

The union says it is ridiculous for KiwiRail to claim they want to tackle climate change, while plowing ahead with plans to scrap electric locomotives and abandon electrification in general on the North Island Main Trunk Line.

KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy this week signed the CEO Climate Change Statement, along with the bosses of Fonterra, Z Energy and others.

“It’s nothing but a cynical public relations manoeuvre,” says RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“This polygamous marriage of convenience between a gaggle of New Zealand’s worst polluters may impress some people, but rail workers are not so easily fooled.”

The company plans to replace its current fleet of EF class electric locomotives with DL class diesel trains imported from China, despite an internal review which established it would be millions of dollars cheaper to either upgrade their existing electric locomotives, purchase second-hand models from Queensland or purchase new ones.

KiwiRail’s use of diesel locomotives on currently electrified rail tracks will burn an extra eight million litres of diesel per year, spewing an additional 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year into our atmosphere.

The DL class diesel train is described in a report by WorleyParsons as having “extraordinarily poor” performance, and despite their price tag they are slower than KiwiRail’s current electric trains.

“This diesel deal is dirty in every sense of the word – if only it was being done dirt cheap,” says Mr Butson.

“Instead we may all foot the bill for the expensive and unnecessary overseas purchase of slow, gas-guzzling, pollution-belching trains.”

The RMTU calls on Labour and the Greens to honour their pre-election promises to overturn this decision and support further electrification of New Zealand’s rail network.

Labour announced in 2017 that de-electrification is a “backwards step” which they “consistently opposed”, and the Greens called on the previous National government to “immediately halt the diesel train deal”.

Labour declared that “if elected, a Labour Government will issue a clear letter of expectation to cease work on de-electrification,” yet KiwiRail say they have received “no further correspondence” and intend to scrap the last electric trains by March 2019.

Mr Butson says RMTU members are unhappy about the lack of action from government.

“Rail workers helped this government into power with our time, money and votes,” he says.

“How long does it take for promises to be kept?”

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