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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

          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

            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

            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

              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


      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

        🙄 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 🙄

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