web analytics
The Standard

Kiwirail disgrace

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, August 9th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: jobs, transport - Tags:

Buying back Kiwirail was a chance for building a cost-, oil-, and carbon-efficient transport network. Instead, its been a tale of false economies: cheap trains from China, cheap sleepers from Peru, cheap labour from contracting out. In the end, it all costs more for worse results.

Smart transport policy, smart procurement policy, smart labour policy – that’s what we need from Labour-Greens in 2014 to make Literal what it can be.

36 comments on “Kiwirail disgrace”

  1. peter 1

    They were not “cheap” sleepers from Peru, the supplier has acted fraudulently by suppplying a lower grade product than specified. And it took some time before his fraud became apparent, as the sleepers are rotting from the inside out !

  2. Tracey 2

    The new definition of capitalism is

    “to move from country to country chasing lower labour rates” –

    • bbfloyd 2.1

      it used to be “to move from country to country chasing cheap raw materials, and slaves”, so I suppose capitalism has at least changed it’s stated goals…..

      Same animal, new hairstyle….

  3. Busman 3

    U are joking ??? right ?? and who ordered the trains ??? and who paid over a billion dollars for it and allowed toll to keep the profitable part of the business ??
    Tui advert eh ?? u are not serious

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      So you’d be one of the ones that say the government should have paid book value, right? Would you also say that the power companies should be sold at book value?

    • marsman 3.2

      One train carries as much as 100 trucks. Fewer trucks on roads equals less damage to roads and fewer holdups of car traffic and fewer accidents.

      • Rob 3.2.1

        I am unsure as to why these things you state are variable under different owenrship structures.. Your ratio’s of truck freight to road freight are constant – independent of who owns it.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Well:
          1.) The private sector run down the infrastructure so that trains couldn’t actually be used in many places (it’s a natural monopoly after all and thus engenders rentier behaviour)
          2.) Trucks are massively subsidised by cars resulting in them being used when they shouldn’t

          This requires a few fixes:
          1.) Government ownership and reinvestment in rail
          2.) Getting rid of the subsidy that trucks enjoy

          This would result in trains becoming the preferred choice for transporting long distances while keeping prices down and the infrastructure in good condition.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.1

            The Chairman of Toyota NZ is on the Board of Kiwirail.

            Coincidence ? You would think Air NZ or maybe a power company but oh no its something he knows nothing about but the competion to rail transport has quite a bit of involvement.

          • Kiwiiano 3.2.1.1.2

            Why not split the transport taxes raised by petrol & general taxes and road user charges between roads, rail and coastal shipping to find the best performing infrastructure?

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Why complicate the matter? Just need to have each paying their true costs.

    • TimD 3.3

      <700million, IIRC, was paid for KiwiRail. It was a high price, but the fact that it don't gush money is probably the thing that will save it from being re-sold.
      If you look at it Cullen as as tight as a fishes ass, but still saw KiwiRail as something good to buy (or maybe lumping the Nats with another monkey on their back), so there must be something worthwhile in buying it back.

  4. marsman 4

    Kiwirail is being sabotaged on NActs behalf by the dickhead who runs it. Auckland to Wellington passenger service is now faster but stops have been cut and they have trebled the cheapest fares and doubled the others. Way to attract passengers, but of course they want to be able to say ‘look it’s failed no-one is using the service’. Back to travelling on overcrowded buses stopping at crummy tea-rooms with one blocked toilet. Great for tourism too.

    • tc 4.1

      Ah yes Jim Quinn, dickhead is generous and misguided. A patsy appointment who does as told, after years at NZPost he’s a good boy who follows orders from the hollowmen for the much bigger bucks than he got for pretending to operate courier post which is a business than runs itself.

      See the trick is having these good old boys who do as instructed, the NACT is bulging with them whereas Labour just doesn’t have the connections so SOE’s like TVNZ got away with a lot of shite under Clark as they just couldn’t find the equivalent Quinns to look after the shop.

  5. Julian 5

    The masses in our beautiful 100% pure country do not want or even entertain the idea of economic environmentally sound public transport. We are lazy and love our cars too much. It is not until a kiwi travels over seas and sees for them selves what an amazing difference an effective public transportation by rail makes to the commuters life coming from the suburbs and rural communities as opposed to the mind bending, crawling, angry traffic on motorways of big cities.

    If we did want it as a country we would demand it. No one gives a shit outside their four car doors.
    I’m sure their are a minority of environmentally sound members of the public who would love it but the masses don’t, they want roads not rail. That is what we as a country voted for with King Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Wrong:

      People using public transport in Auckland continues to take giant leaps – a 9.1% increase in the last 12 months.

      Auckland public transport patronage totalled 69,032,572 passengers for the 12-months to Nov 2011 an increase of 5,738,734 boardings or +9.1%.

      People are more than happy to use PT but the government (both local and central) has been building only for cars and trucks since the 1950s. It’s going to take awhile to correct that misallocation. Especially when this government is increasing that misallocation.

      • mike e 5.1.1

        Funny that the Tories in the UK have figured out PT but the butt holes we have for Tories in this country are only interested in those who pay the biggest donations ie oil co’s and road transport lobbies.
        Corrupt crapitalists.

  6. Cnut 6

    “Smart transport policy, smart procurement policy, smart labour policy – that’s what we need from Labour-Greens in 2014 to make Literal what it can be.”

    Indeed. Let’s pray Labour will stop shooting itself in the foot and stabbing itself in the back for long enough to garner at least a few MPs to make a Greens-with-Labour-support Government a possibility.

  7. BernyD 7

    And trains can be run on electricity, something to consider in the mix.

  8. captain hook 8

    i wuz born in a boomers shack
    bout that far from the railroad track
    choo choo rattled my window pane
    sheet iron on the roof tell me eva time it rained.

  9. tracey 9

    A person earning a living as the head of a car selling company advises kiwirail?!

  10. burt 10

    Yeah, we could have borrowed billions more to spend on kiwirail…. doooh. Damn shame we paid way to much to buy it back just in time for a hard to win election…. if we had paid the book price for it then we might have more to spend on maintenance – such is the price of trying to be popular using other peoples money.

  11. Lloyd 11

    Just remember that Japan and Taiwan run tilting trains carrying passengers on the New Zealand gauge over similar country to New Zealand at scheduled speeds of 140 km per hour. This means that the trains can be faster than a car, and you can go to the bar during the trip.

    The reason New Zealanders prefer the car is that the car generally is faster. the reason it is faster is that New Zealand hasn’t invested in the railway network…….

    • OneTrack 11.1

      The other, albeit minor, problem is that the trains don’t go where you want to go and don’t go when you want them to go. Not everybody lives in upper Hutt and works in a ministry job in the city.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        :roll: That’s what your legs are for, dumbass.

        And instead of addressing Lloyd’s excellent points, you attempted a derail with a snide remark about our faithful public servants :roll:

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bad news will hit West Coast communities hard
    The Buller community will be relieved that the Stockton Mine will continue to be operated by Solid Energy following today’s restructuring announcement, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “My thoughts go out to the 113 miners who will… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Historic abuse victims deserve real justice
    Victims who have been abused while in state care and have waited years for resolution will not find it in today’s announcement from Anne Tolley, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.  “The Government’s ‘fast tracked’ process for historic abuse claims… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Ruataniwha dam – the ongoing story
    Last week the Board of Inquiry into the Ruataniwha irrigation proposal reported their decision on the nitrate limits that would be allowed in rivers affected by the scheme. The decision is a confirmation of some strict limits on the amount… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    8 hours ago
  • Wrong tax priorities: chasing tradies, not multinationals
    National has got its tax priorities wrong by chasing down Kiwi tradespeople but doing very little to ensure major multinationals pay their fair share, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. "National is desperate to scrape the tax barrel to get… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Big changes needed for prostate cancer patients
    The Government must take urgent steps to improve the survival rates of New Zealand men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer who are dying at twice the rates of their British counterparts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “A new report out… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Erima Henare passes away
    “Takitaki ana nga whetu o te kahui o Matariki”  Aue e te motu kua hinga te rata tumaru, te waha kii o Te Tai Tokerau a Erima Henare. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Minister makes meagre effort to fix big problem
    Today’s announcement by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that Budget 2015 will include $98 million for elective surgery over three to four years should be seen for what it is – a drop in the bucket in an effort to appease… ...
    1 day ago
  • Treasury forecasts a deficit for next year too
    National has tried to get the bad deficit news out of the way before this year's Budget but Treasury’s warned next year’s books could also be in the red despite Bill English's panicked spending cuts late last year, Labour’s Finance… ...
    1 day ago
  • OIA chaos in the Ministry of Social Development
    So it turns out yesterday’s story about WINZ cuts to dental care loans was wrong, and through no fault of Radio New Zealand who ran it. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has today corrected the Official Information Act release… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • First state house sell-off will achieve little
    The first tranche of the Government’s state house sell-off will do nothing to fix the housing crisis or better the lives of vulnerable families, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Government has just announced the transfer of 1600 state… ...
    1 day ago
  • Job figures show many missing out
    New Zealand’s “rock star” economy is failing to deliver either a surplus, real wage increases or job growth with unemployment stuck at 5.8 per cent,” Labour’s Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government trumpets the 3 per cent growth rate and… ...
    1 day ago
  • Secret moves could undermine education system
    The Government must explain why it is pushing to open doors to multinational private education providers through a controversial international free trade agreement, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Documents leaked today show our Government is one of a handful… ...
    1 day ago
  • Spotless must now end all zero-hours contracts
    New Zealand’s largest contractor of food, cleaning and hospital staff, Spotless, must now take action to end all zero-hour contracts, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday Labour asked questions of Parliamentary Service and the Speaker after we revealed nine parliamentary… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are we even talking about welfare anymore?
    I’ve worked with children in the slums in India and that experience confirmed my sense of luck that I live in a small, naturally abundant country, which many years ago made the decision to share those resources so everyone had… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • MPs warned off celebrations for fear of upsetting Chinese
    A leaked email that reveals the Government is warning MPs not to attend Falun Gong celebrations and that China will be spying on people who do has no place in a free society, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.Advice… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour stands behind Solid Energy miners
    Solid Energy miners will not be surprised at the company’s announcement today of further restructuring but any more job losses will be a shock for West Coast communities, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “I have my fingers… ...
    2 days ago
  • TPK unable to deliver on Whanau Ora
    The Auditor General’s report on Whanau Ora highlights what many people knew – Te Puni Kokiri was never designed to be a service delivery agency, said Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora spokesperson Adrian Rurawhe. “In the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Too many Kiwis waiting on waiting lists
    Waiting lists to get on waiting lists are the new norm for thousands of New Zealanders living with chronic health problems, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The Government’s underfunding of the health sector is forcing district health boards to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Delays in spending damage Whanau Ora
    Criticism from the Auditor General that a greater proportion of Whanau Ora funds could have been directed to families rather than administration is something that needs to be investigated thoroughly, says Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “To quote the report… ...
    2 days ago
  • Walking the talk on sexual violence
    Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis is putting election campaign promises into action, organising a hīkoi to raise awareness around sexual violence. The 17-day MASSIVE (Men Against Sexual Violence) walk – from the electorate’s southern boundary to the northern tip… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt dumps infrastructure costs on Akld ratepayers
    The Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure to service its Special Housing Areas is dumping massive costs on Auckland ratepayers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council has declined to approve three new Special Housing Areas on the city… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour reforms encourage bad employers to be bullies
    The Government’s changes to labour laws have created a climate that allows bad employers to bully their workers, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Tauranga worker Bertie Ratu was threatened by her employer Talley’s for asking her local… ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliament workers on zero-hour contracts
    The Government must take urgent action and insist the contractor who employs workers at Parliament on zero-hour contracts end these unfair work arrangements, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Speaker David Carter has confirmed in his reply to questions from Labour… ...
    2 days ago
  • RMA: We need to know
    Environment Minister Nick Smith needs to spell out to New Zealanders what they can expect from his substantial reform of the RMA, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  In an open letter to the Minister, Megan Woods has urged him… ...
    3 days ago
  • He Aituā! He Aituā!
    “Papā te whatitiri! Hikohiko te uira! Ka wāwāhia ki runga o Hikurangi maunga, o Waiwhetū kainga. “Kua katohia e te ringa kaha o Aituā i tetahi pou whakarae o te reo Māori. Nō reira kei hea taku manu tui… ...
    3 days ago
  • Stratoil – Iwis do what National will not
    Tomorrow, Far North tribal representatives for the Te Hiku o Te Ika tribes will be travelling to the head office of Statoil to discuss the opposition to its oil exploration program in Te Reinga Basin. Statoil have decided to begin… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • Mana whenua head North to oppose oil drilling
    It was good to hear the news that a mana whenua delegation is heading north, a long way north, to make their views known about the proposed  oil drilling off the Northland coast. The roopu will be representing iwi and hapu… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    3 days ago
  • Ministers must act on 111 failure
    Lives are being put at risk if the company contracted to manage emergency 111 calls can’t cope with increased numbers, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Saturday’s situation where people calling the emergency services were unable to get through and were… ...
    3 days ago
  • People trying to save lives don’t deserve abuse
    WorkSafe New Zealand staff trying to save lives on farms shouldn’t be subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse from a Member of Parliament, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Chester Borrows has labelled WorkSafe New Zealand officials… ...
    3 days ago
  • Action on laws needed in Privacy Week
    The Government must speed up promised law changes to reassure the public their private information is in safe hands as the country marks Privacy Week, Labour’s associate Justice spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “The previous Justice Minister Judith Collins announced… ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori Caucus call on iwi leaders support
    Labour’s Māori caucus has sent an open letter to iwi leaders around the country seeking their support for meat workers currently in employment negotiations with Talleys.  “We are aware that when Talleys locked out workers for a period of 89… ...
    4 days ago
  • National still splashing cash on charter school experiment
    New figures confirming that charter schools are still being funded at up to four times the rate of their state school counterparts shows just how desperate the National Government is to make its experiment a success, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris… ...
    5 days ago
  • Regions pay price for inaction on housing
    New figures put the cost of an average Auckland home at $800,000 and show large parts of the country facing stagnant or falling property values, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The QV data released today shows residential property values… ...
    6 days ago
  • Regions pay price for inaction on housing
    New figures put the cost of an average Auckland home at $800,000 and show large parts of the country facing stagnant or falling property values, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The QV data released today shows residential property values… ...
    6 days ago
  • PPP schools not at expense of community groups
    The Government must guarantee community groups will not be the losers out of its signing of a $298 million deal for four more public private partnership (PPP) schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Community groups will find it more… ...
    6 days ago
  • Surplus: The biggest broken promise ever
    Bill English has failed to deliver on his double-election campaign promise of a surplus by this year, instead delivering seven deficits out of seven budgets, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government spent seven years and two election campaigns… ...
    6 days ago
  • McDonald’s serves up some McHappiness
    Unite Union and McDonald’s have given New Zealand a perfect way to celebrate May Day by reaching a settlement that strikes another blow against zero-hour contracts, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Earlier this week it looked like… ...
    6 days ago
  • Justice delayed and delayed and delayed
    Today we found out that the case of the prominent New Zealander  charged with indecent assault will retain name suppression until the case goes to court in about a year. Putting aside the appropriateness or not of granting name suppression,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • No golden age for books
    The ‘indefinite’ postponement of an initiative designed to encourage people to read Kiwi books will be a major blow to local authors, publishers and booksellers, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.News that the annual NZ Book Month… ...
    1 week ago
  • Cracks showing in economy of milk and houses
    Fonterra’s latest cut to its forecast farmgate payout confirms that an economic black hole of $7 billion is opening up that will seriously affect the regions, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The cut confirms the long term trend of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Human Rights – An Issue for Everyone
    This week, the issue of human rights has been everywhere in the news. We have seen John Key prioritise a free trade agreement with Saudi Arabia over all else with no guarantee of human rights clauses being included. We have… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt inaction on housing keeping rates high
    The Government’s failure to rein in the housing crisis means the Reserve Bank Governor cannot lower interest rates despite inflation being at 15-year lows, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Inflation is below the target band and the economy has… ...
    1 week ago
  • What do our refugee policies say about us?
    It is my pleasure to share with you a blog from Hester Moore who is currently interning with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Cairo, after graduating from the Univeristy of Canterbury. Sometimes, as a nation it is… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Tamaki state housing transfer risky and desperate
    The Government’s transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company -- to be announced at 9am today -- shows it's desperation to off-load state houses and show some kind of action against Auckland's out of control housing crisis,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tamaki state housing transfer risky and desperate
    The Government’s transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company -- to be announced at 9am today -- shows it's desperation to off-load state houses and show some kind of action against Auckland's out of control housing crisis,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse should close work visa loophole
    The Immigration Minister must revoke the work visas of temporary Chinese engineers working on KiwiRail trains and close the loophole that allows their employers to avoid New Zealand employment laws, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues, Iain Lees-Galloway. “New Zealanders… ...
    1 week ago
  • Job losses show folly of Chorus’ copper cuts
    Chorus and the Government are neglecting the copper broadband network, leading to 145 potential job losses at Transfield Services as well as poor services in the regions, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Steven Joyce and Amy Adams have made… ...
    1 week ago
  • National quietly ditches its surplus promise
    National has quietly dropped its long-promised return to surplus by this year by removing the date it will get the books back in the black from its online campaign material, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s pledge to reach… ...
    1 week ago
  • Even cheap houses now unaffordable
    New housing affordability data show that now even the cheapest houses in Auckland are unaffordable for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “The AMP360 Home Loan Affordability Report reveals Auckland's lower quartile house price has leapt to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s careless chatter tips off Arabic media
    John Key has shown a frightening lack of judgement in disclosing to an Arabic media outlet that Kiwi troops are in the UAE awaiting deployment to Iraq, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “At the same time the Prime… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere