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Government Applauded For Turning Off The Tap For KiwiRail’s Doomed Ferries

Reacting to the announcement from Finance Minister Nicola Willis that KiwiRail’s request for additional funding to replace the InterIslander ferry fleet, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:

“We applaud the government for turning off the tap for this KiwiRail project that has gone well off track. With costs ballooning from $775 million in 2018 to approximately $3 billion today, it is clear that KiwiRail does not have the competence to deliver a project on budget and the tap of taxpayer money should be turned off.

“Nicola Willis has done well not to fall into the trap of the sunk cost fallacy that catches out far too many politicians. Committing even more money to this doomed project would be a bad idea even if we were in good economic times. In the context of the current cost-of-living crisis and eye-watering levels of government debt, it would be completely reckless and irresponsible to allow KiwiRail to continue with the ferry fleet replacement on the taxpayer dime.“

This announcement comes in stark contrast to the Auditor General’s report released today highlighting a complete disrespect for the taxpayer from the previous government in relation to various infrastructure projects that blew massively over time, over budget or were never completed. The ability to say no to wasteful spending is one of the most powerful tools Ministers have and hopefully this will send a strong message across the entire public sector – the time for wasting money is over.”

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