Kiwirail making big profits

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, May 24th, 2010 - 84 comments
Categories: assets, Economy - Tags: ,

We don’t expect the state highway network to turn a profit but we know it contributes enormous value to our economy. Similarly, we know that our airports, seaports, and telecommunications network add more to the economy than just the profits of the companies.

The same goes for rail. But the funny thing, considering the Right’s bitter attacks on Kiwirail, is that it is actually turning large profits and will continue to do so. In fact, by 2020, Kiwirail will have made over $4 billion of profits under public ownership.

Last year, the operating profit was $246 million in the last financial year and $125 million in the first half of this year.

In the next decade, it will make nearly $4 billion more. The ‘turnaround plan‘ of capital investment in Kiwirail will be worth $4.6 billion. $750 million of that will be new Crown investment (about 7% of what will go into state highways over the same period). The remainder will be reinvestment of profits.

Wow. We invest $690 million in a vital piece of national transport infrastructure and, on top of all the value it gives to the economy as a network, it is set to make 6 times its purchase price by 2020 all of which will go into improving the network.

Pretty sweet.

84 comments on “Kiwirail making big profits ”

  1. I don’t think anyone would argue that KiwiRail should seek to pay its way as much as possible, but there are multiple problems with seeking to rapidly turn KiwiRail into a profitable concern.

    1. There was significant underinvestment in Rail from the late 1980s until KiwiRail Holdings was established in 2008; in infrastructure, rolling stock, and carriage. In fact, during the private era it was asset stripped.

    2. Rail, as a transportation system, offers huge potential, and seeking to run the entire network as a profitable system in such a time-frame would be an unfair comparison to roading. Unlike roading, I believe in fact that rail can/will be profitable in the long term, but this will take a long time to build up.

    3. It seems that one of the Government’s plans to “rebuild” KiwiRail is oxymoronic in the extreme – mothballing tracks. It needs to repair the tracks, add to the electrification, and make higher speeds possible to better compete with roadfreight.

    4. Instantly demanding a profit from those who have been the most loyal, would surely turn away even the most loyal customers. They need to build up freight tonnage/passenger capacity with low prices that can attractively compete with road/air etc. so that eventually prices can be raised.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Well said Policy! Great summary.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      And road freight needs to be properly taxed so that it’s not subsidised by all the other road users and taxpayers. They should pay their own way same as trains pay their own way.

  2. big bruv 2

    Where is the ‘satire’ tag Eddie?

  3. frustrated 3

    The EBITDA in half year to Dec 2009 is only 16 million and excludes capital and operating support grants – that’s hardly flash.

    The real figure you should be quoting is a 136 million dollar loss- which is bailed out by Crown/Regional Council funding.

    • StephenR 3.1

      I had the feeling something like this was the case, without knowing what the hell an EBITDA was!

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        The Regional/metro Rail is run at a loss, that is why there is payments from the Councils.
        All ways has been the case, name one metro rail system in the world that runs at a profit with out fare support.

      • Alwyn 3.1.2

        Don’t worry Stephen. Neither does Eddie.
        By his reasoning we should just raise their subsidy to a billion dollars a year.
        Then he could say they were making even larger profits.
        By the reasoning(?) in this post we can argue that the welfare budget is showing a profit.
        We just ignore all the taxpayers money going in.
        I am inclined to agree with BB. Where was the satire tag.
        Can we please have some accounting or economic knowledge going into these posts.
        I would like to see the left getting back into the debate, but with the ridiculous posts like this being proposed I despair for our side of the political spectrum.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2


      The Conclusion
      EBITDA doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The measure’s bad reputation is more a result of overexposure and improper use than anything else. Just as a shovel is effective for digging holes, but wouldn’t be the best tool for tightening screws or inflating tires, so EBITDA shouldn’t be used as a one-size-fits-all, stand-alone tool for evaluating corporate profitability. This is a particularly valid point when one considers that EBITDA calculations do not conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAPs).

      • frustrated 3.2.1

        Yes agreed …….. which is why I also quoted the losses before Crown/Regional Council funding as well as EBITDA.

  4. Bored 4

    So thats why the government want to sell it off to their cronies. It would be a story of multiple heists at the expense of you and me…first up “I’ve been thinking Prebbo aka mad Dog” hocks it off to those two great paragons of virtuous Kiwi enterprise, Fay and Richwhite for a derisory sum…..they then in turn hock it off in turn for a fat profit. Many share transactions later, near bankruptcy the government buys it back (another robbery, the reciever would have given it to them given time). In between times many minor heists of assett looting take place via the accountants books etc leaving the big dent in infrastructure which we are now financing our way out of.

    Whilst all these robberies are being committed some equally virtuous “transport” felons are ripping the shit out of the roads and sending the majority of the cost of road maintenance back to (you guessed it), you and I. Then there are the tax subsidies via depreciation etc, we again get the bill.

    Now we come to the next opportunity for trough feeding….lets say the price of fuel rockets up as peak oil grips the world supplies of fuel. Trucking becomes rapidly uncompetitve compared to rail. The $4 billion might just be the tip of the iceberg, its beginning to look like a very attractive target for foreward thinking corporate larcenists.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      You mean what basically happened to all the privatisation last time and what NACT are promising to do again.

      NACT: Voted in for promising to steal from you.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.2

      Well said, Bored. The right (Prebble, then National) were idiots (albeit cunning, greedy idiots) for selling it, and Labour were even bigger idiots (given that cunning and greed played no part in their decision) for buying it back because, as you point out, they’d have picked it up for nothing eventually.

      Just gives you a warm feeling all over, doesn’t it, to know our fate as a nation is in such intelligent hands. But hey, we get to choose between greed and stupidity every three years, so everything’s fine.

      • Bored 4.2.1

        Yes Rex, spot on, quite funny really. As Forrests ma done said “stupid is as stupid does” and we all vote.

      • Luxated 4.2.2

        …Labour were even bigger idiots (given that cunning and greed played no part in their decision) for buying it back because, as you point out, they’d have picked it up for nothing eventually.

        Rex, while it is true that the way Toll were running it would have devalued rail over time, there would have also substantial costs involved in renovating the network to even the standard it is now (fairly poor) this could have easily outweighed the savings on the purchase price. Added to this is the cost to the economy of having an under-performing substandard rail network. While I’m not saying that Labour necessarily bought it at the perfect time, waiting may not have saved any money in the long run at all.

  5. StephenR 5

    We don’t expect the state highway network to turn a profit but we know it contributes enormous value to our economy.

    We do expect users to pay pretty close to the full price for it though…

    • Doug 5.1

      But they don’t pay the full price. Ask the Ministry of Transport there have done a number of studies to determine the full cost. For one thing there is no requirement for return on the value of the road asset. We expect a return on other national and local government assets why not roads?

    • Bright Red 5.2

      every year roading gets hundreds of millions of dollars on top of the money raised from petrol excise and road user charges. And that’ justified because it has a wider benefit than just to road users. Same goes for rail

      • StephenR 5.2.1

        Thanks Bright Red. Without wanting to be one of those commenters who always demands more and more effort and research from others, any idea what proportion isn’t from fuel tax? Hence my ‘pretty close to full price’ comment.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      IIRC, road freight pays about 1/3 to 1/2 of the damage it does to the roads so, not close to full price.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Actually the roading is fully paid by users , the difference is the trucks offload their costs to the private motorists who are asier to fleec

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Eg The roading fund pays the police for about $200 mill per year for traffic policing- and the results are measured from the police ie so many hours etc

      • 6.1.1

        Local councils pay a significant amount for roading maintenance & constuction. This is not from road user charges, this is from rates.

  7. Irascible 7

    Wait till Key & NACT rediscover the accounting cons used by Greece and start mortgaging the roading system to PPPs who then toll the piece of road they’ve acquired for 35 years or so in return for a promise to maintain it on behalf of the government (taxpayer). It’s a great way to hide state debt and make the books look good until the hard questions begin to be asked by outside agencies.

    Ooops Hide already has that in mind as the rape of Auckland hurries towards its NACT conclusion.

  8. Hamish 8

    How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?

    You do know that KiwiRail is required to class any grant (such as the 500mil for Auckland’s new rolling stock) as income, huh ?

    • Bright Red 8.1

      How much profit does NZTA make once all the crown funding is removed?

      • Doug 8.1.1

        BR technically the Crown does not fund the National Road Fund (or whatever they are calling it now). Funding comes from the petrol levy and RUC, which does not go into the Crown account.

        However, since the Government imposes these levies on road users you’re not wrong in practice. To answer your question the NZTA makes no profit on the multi-billion assets that is the state highway system. The largest single capital asset in New Zealand.

        • Bright Red

          the money does go to the consolidated fund, and is then sent to NZTA, and NZTA gets more money than is raised by petrol excise and road user charges.

          but we don’t expect roads to operate at a profit. we get far more value out of them by not limiting demand by price.

    • lprent 8.2

      I’d put the question another way.

      The trucking industry currently doesn’t pay more than a small fraction of their maintenance impact on the roads. They are subsidised by car and bus users. When we remove their subsidies – how much will the industry have in profits? Can the trucking industry move freight economically without having their current special hidden subsidy?

      Perhaps you’d like to answer that one. I’ll give you a hint – the subsidies for truckers are at least an order of magnitude greater than those for rail.

      • Armchair Critic 8.2.1

        I would ask the question this way – how much profit would New Zealand businesses make without efficient transportation systems? Yep, without efficient transport systems our society would, at best, look quite different.
        So shouldn’t we treat transport systems fairly and equally and not subsidise one mode more than any other? What was the old slogan – level playing field, or something like that? Not that we have one of those for transport, at present.

        • burt

          You are asking socialists if they think it is wrong to pick winners and losers… How can a guaranteed to fail ideology of redistribution ever get a chance at being elected if it can’t pretend that it is right via stealing from the losers (people who don’t vote for a doomed to fail ideology) to prop up the winers (dim-bulbs who failed to notice socialism always ends in recession) so they vote for it?

          Rember the days when it was illegal for trucks & busses to travel from A to B faster than the train to protect the rail business. They were the days eh, playing field tilted in the interest of the state so the state could pour massive amounts of tax payers money into making a monopoly look efficient by restricting competition.

          • Armchair Critic

            You are asking socialists if they think it is wrong to pick winners and losers
            I’m kind of over the whole left vs.right thing at present.
            The irony of a group of people advocating for a level playing field and then vehemently opposing the same level playing field for transport strikes me every time a politician does something rail-related.
            I don’t mind my taxes being used to subsidise transport, my objection is to the difference in the rate of subsidy between various transport modes. With the history behind transport and transport funding in NZ and all the vested interests there is little hope of the situation being properly addressed in my lifetime.
            And I don’t remember the days when rail was protected from roading competition, but I am aware it happened.

  9. Hamish 9

    So you can’t answer the question, I take it ?

    I can’t really be stuffed explaining people who think that grant is somehow a profit. What a wonderland you must live in.

    A turkey took the original post to TradeMe, he did not get far:

    [ I generally don’t like cross-posting but can’t be stuffed explaining the obvious ]

  10. Hamish 10

    Without changing the subject, is ANYONE capable of answering the question:

    How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?

    [Okay, I’ll answer it: It makes no profit. But a loss of $136million. Good thing the original post left that out, otherwise it could have been mistake for something truthful!]

    • Anita 10.1

      Out of interest, how’re you quantifying the subsidies? A friend tied herself in knots trying to do it by attempting accounting magic with the equity injections.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Would they be running the suburban train services at all if they werent given subsidies. The regional councils set the service levels etc. eg Auckland had no trains after 6:30 Pm and none at all on Sundays until the region stumped up the cash. The same goes for the rolling stock, unless the customer wants to pay for the upgrade to electric for Auckland, they aint getting it.
      How many times do you think trying the Goebbels approach, just repeating the nonsense you are spouting, will make it true

      Look at Telecom they receive subsidies, dont see you docking the $70 mill from their annual profit

    • Fisiani 10.3

      Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters. You have to apply the Keith Locke test. If either the Standard or Keith says it is bad then common sense means it is good and vice versa

      • Galeandra 10.3.1

        Hello Fisiani & Hamish, black suited and bicycled. Are you here to educate us or to convert us?
        ‘Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters.’ Can’t stay away, eh? Love your good manners and your blind faith. Do you always wear pinstripe when you ‘re delivering tracts?

  11. RobertM 11

    Operating profits for freight do not actually give the real picture. Despite the comments on my literacy, sobrierty on the Guyon -English blog I am actually the gentleman who did most of the paid media commentary in NBR, Press and occasionally the Southland Times, NZ Herald and Australian on the issue of rail privatisation in l993. At the time the media and most of the population clearly wanted the railways privatised, comment that was pro or neutral was publishable what was critical and raised questions was filed. The Treasury’s motivation was pretty much to get rail off the books and let it be run down quietly over 20 years. Heeln clark called a stop to the process. I have always been primarily interested in rail passenger services because I see modern railways as primarily passenger carriers and only really suited to specialised freight business such as coal, logs and dairy. In NZ I do not see rail freight as viable. The South Island system isnt economic. The possibility of a strong national rail system and a mining economy when constructio worked stopped on the Nelson Wesport line in l931 because the Murchison and Napier earthquakes had revealed the route was too geologically unstable. It was therefore decided to complete the picton christchurch railway, but that line remains a fragile third world link very steeply graded and uneconomical. Building Clifford Bay to eliminate some of the 1/33 grades and two new rail ferries will cost $1.4 billion within ten years. The line Rolleston is not really heavily trafficed enough to justify it as an alternative to good roads and the last years of the Southerner with numerous bad train road crashes at level crossings revealed any development of fast passenger services would need massive work to seal of the track. The cost of operating the trans alpine line and the steep grades and dangerous tunnel operation makes the value of the coal trade margineal. About 4 million tons of coal goes over the line but the Queensland narrow gauge coal lines are electrified and carry $120 milllion tons. They are being privatised and so should the alpine and northland lines.
    The possibility of a national rail passenger system was massively put back with the decision not to electrify in the mid l950s and the cancellation of the second batch of the Fiat railcars and the refusal of Budd to deliever narrow gauge cars in l957 that were planned to provide fast.frequent railcar services Auckland-Hamilton, Wellington -Palmeston North, Auckland- Wellington, Dunedin Invercargill and Christchurch. In l974 Labour did plan $22 million worth of new stainless steel trains on provincial routes but the Railways and Treasury were largely opposed because it would have used up too much freight and skilled staff resource and run at an enormous loss. The proposals had no hope of approval with Roger Douglas starting to dominate transport policymaking. My l981-82 Canterbury MA thesis argued that railcars would have been far more economical and faster than trains and 20 modern fiat railcars could have been ordered in l975 for $5 million. The report into rail passenger that Muldoon called from Booz Allen of Boston, USA in l983 confirmed my line that railcars and multiple units were far economically superior to the small train option labour argued for, but Prebble sat on the report and rails losses under him reached $332 million a year. That is why Richardson brought in Fay Richwhite to run the rail under her supervison in l991 and clean out the deadwood

    [lprent: I’d suggest using paragraphs with lines between them. It’d make your comments a lot more readable. ]

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Sighs…for all your familiarity with railways you keep missing the obvious.

      No sane person expects the rail system to be ‘economical’. Few rail systems anywhere in the world make an an operational profit, anymore than a trucking company would if it had to build and maintain it’s own roads.

      We don’t expect hospitals, schools, police, roads, pensioners, the armed service and the like to make a ‘profit’ …even though as a society we spend a great deal of public money on them. We do these things because we recognise they return a wider, over-arching benefit to all of our society, not because we expect a profit in the narrow and limited sense you have in mind.

      All other developed and civilised nations are currently investing heavily in new rail systems, while the head-up-ass right wing in this feeble little backwater are still justifying their ideological fixation with crippling the potential of NZ’s rail.

      • Nick C 11.1.1

        Redlogix you could make that argument for anything. The government could form a giant human chain passing boxes of freight from Wellington to Auckland. You could jump up and say; ‘Sure, it will cost billions, but it doesnt have to be economic, cos its a public service’

        The reality is that there does need to be some sort of degree of economisation- otherwise you justify any absurdly expensive public services. In this case Rail needs to be economic relative to other transport options (i.e. thats which we dont form the giant human chain, because it isnt economic relative to other options). I think you will find that the majority of people with anything more than armchair expertise on the subject will say that Rail isnt economic in NZ.

        • Galeandra

          A pathetic case of reductio ad absurdem. You give elephants a bad name. Leave the room.

  12. Hamish 12

    >>>Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters.

    heh heh.

    >>>You have to apply the Keith Locke test. If either the Standard or Keith says it is bad then common sense means it is good and vice versa

    I think most of us do already use that test when you see Comrade Keith on the news…

    >>>Would they be running the suburban train services at all if they werent given subsidies

    We know that the suburban trains require subsidies to work. So do suburban buses etc. However, what should not require that is the freight side of KiwiRail.

    The original post by ‘EDDIE’ is a total load of BS. Sure, it may fool your average pre-school child, but anyone that has half a brain cell can work out if KiwiRail (freight) is receiving subsidies, then it is NOT making profit!! Problem is, KiwiRail classes grants etc as income, thus how the fruit loops have come up with that “Kiwirail making big profits”.

    Even our stupid news media would not fool for this kind of logic…

    • RedLogix 12.1

      but anyone that has half a brain cell can work out if KiwiRail (freight) is receiving subsidies, then it is NOT making profit!!

      And by this criteria there are no trucking companies make a profit either, because they are all using taxpayer subsidised roads. But because they can privatise their gains on their books for personal benefit, and socialise their costs off their books to the cost of the rest of us…they’re in your ideological blind spot.

      • StephenR 12.1.1

        But because they can privatise their gains on their books for personal benefit, and socialise their costs off their books to the cost of the rest of us they’re in your ideological blind spot.

        Eh? Is the trucking companies ‘paying their costs’ a left/right issue somehow? How are these subsidies justified or why were they enacted in the first place?

    • lprent 12.2

      Hamish: obviously you have very few brain cells. The tracks are the part of Kiwirail receiving subsidies – not the freight operation. The reason why they have to receive subsidies is because Toll never put the required work or money into them to maintain them. The idiots who sold the rail (Prebble from memory) said that wouldn’t happen. It did.

      Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

  13. Frank Macskasy 13

    Funny thing…

    When NZ Rail was in private ownership, the following occurred;

    * Taxpayers and ratepayers still paid subsidies to the private owners. Now why was that? I thought private ownership was more efficient?

    * The railway stations were badly run down; signage missing; and stinking of urine. So much for private owners maximising the value of their assets.

    * Except for the Kaitaki, not one new piece of new rolling stock was purchased by the private owners. What they DID do, however, was to asset strip the company. Faye & Richwhite sold all the spare parts to the Hungarian units as scrap metal. Result? When a Unit broke down – there were no spare parts!!

    * The private owners couldn’t make a profit, and kept bleating about the State “subsidising” the roads; unfair advantage; yada yada yada. Oh puh-lease. Since when the the State owe these corporates a living? They sound like farmers in the USA, holding their hands out for more and more subsidies…

    I think I got more sick of the whinging from the private owners, than when it was in State ownership…

  14. Hamish 14

    >>>The tracks are the part of Kiwirail receiving subsidies not the freight operation

    True. Which is turn is subsidizing the freight side on loss making lines.

    >>>The reason why they have to receive subsidies is because Toll never put the required work or money into them to maintain them.

    Toll never owned the tracks. It take’s less than 30 seconds to find that out.

    >>>The idiots who sold the rail (Prebble from memory) said that wouldn’t happen. It did.

    Has it ever entered your mind that our rail network is simply to large in size? Suggest your look up treasury papers on the matter…

    >>>Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

    Why is it, when I question the original post’s lack of truth, that you throw this question up? Is it an automatic response to being caught-out, perhaps ?

    >>>Taxpayers and ratepayers still paid subsidies to the private owners. Now why was that? I thought private ownership was more efficient?

    Because under private ownership (like we still have now) there were loss making lines. They require either of two things to happen: 1) Shut the line down or 2) Get a handout to keep the line open. It’s good to see now, rather than National keep on handing KiwiRail money to keep these loss making lines open, they will close them. Should have happened years ago.

    >>>The railway stations were badly run down; signage missing; and stinking of urine. So much for private owners maximising the value of their assets.

    Nothing to do with Tranz Rail or Toll. The stations are now owned privately. Go and bitch to their respective owners about the condition.

    >>>Except for the Kaitaki, not one new piece of new rolling stock was purchased by the private owners.

    Sort of. They brought a bunch of diesel locomotives, as well as about 90 (I think) British Rail Mark 2 cars.

    • lprent 14.1

      Toll never owned the tracks. It take’s less than 30 seconds to find that out.

      Yes, and Toll basically didn’t pay the usage charges that they were required to that were meant to maintain the track. It’d take slightly more than 30 seconds to look that up. Instead they preferred to pay dividends to shareholders. That was the reason that KiwiRail was brought back – it will take you minutes to find that out as well.

      > Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

      Why is it, when I question the original post’s lack of truth,

      Because that is the nub of the question. Like Toll, the truckies are not paying their full proportion of the maintenance cost of the roads. Presumably because the government considers the roads to be a social/economic cost that bring greater benefits to the economy as a whole and are willing to tax consumers to maintain the transport network.

      Exactly the same criteria about economic good should be applied to rail track for the same reasons. However you seem to want to use different criteria for the same type of economic operation. You appear to prefer heading towards a predefined conclusion rather than have a debate about freight transport.

      It does make you look like a fatuous fool.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.2

      Bought a bunch of diesel locos??
      They didnt buy a thing. the last locos bought were a bunch of second hand QR machines in 1995 , which were withdrawn in 2005.
      Toll bought into Tranz Rail in 2003. ( probably sold the old QR machines in Australia to make a quick profit)
      n 1998 Tranz Rail began to export locomotives to Tasmania for use on TasRail, then part-owned by Tranz Rail. In total, 12 DQ were exported, along with three unrebuilt QR class. – Wikipedia
      Kiwi Rail has an order for 20 chinese locos

  15. Adrian 15

    I drove from Wgtn to Ak last week with my teenagers and while talking about doing the same trip many times around 30- 40 years ago, it occured to me that the road surface was seriously inferior to those days. There are repairs and patches every few hundred metres, it is bumpy and rough and even recent resealing is breaking up making the whole experience tiring and trying, but the worst aspect is the coarse chip seal that even in a modern car produces an incredibly fatigueing “road roar”, the quietness and calmness when you get on the hotmix of the motorway after Huntly is dramatic. How much does this contribute to the fatigue and sleepiness that is the biggest cause of road fatalities. I’m convinced that the use of the cheap coarse chip , which breaks up a lot sooner than the best options, is because those responsible for maintenance are trying to stretch the budget further due to the huge amount of damage inflicted by heavy transport. The other cost not included in HT’s mix is that apparently about 26% of road deaths and accidents involve trucks, factor that in as another subsidy transferred to health and policing and HT is bloody expensive.

    • insider 15.1

      I drive half of it a couple of times a year and the road is way better than in the 70s. No more Caravan Corner on the Mangaweka switchback, no Vinegar Hill track, Taihape to Waiouru is far better than five years ago.

      Way wrong on accident rates. Trucks have a low rate based on kms travelled. Yep high fatalities but that is directly related to size. Injuries are on average similar to percentage of kms travelled

      spam word – holidays 🙂

      • Adrian 15.1.1

        I said ‘road surface’ and the accident rates come from stats of about 2 years ago, confirmed by Gary Clift ( i’m pretty sure ) road policing chief of Canterbury in reply to questions about ‘ boy racers ” from memory deaths involved ( not nessecarily caused by ) HT 26.2%, ‘Boy racers” 2.4%.

  16. RobertM 16

    My reply to Red Logix is that at a certain point the balance sheet means something. Rail to Gisborne in 2010 which hauls less than the Roxburgh branch or Waimea Plains Branch in 1968 is hardly rational at all. Many of my Professors argued sea was the better freight option in NZ and that could certainly be argued in terms of future export of Gisborne logs. In terms of the viability of a National NZ wide rail passenger service with general container wagon traffic it is the economics of the Wellington-Christchurch link that is at the core of the issue and the economics.
    Many experts would argue modern Wellington-Lyttelton freight shipping roll on -roll off would be far more economical and sensible than new rail ferries and attempting to maintain and upgrade the Chrisitchurch-picton rail link. Without the 1200km rail freight journey between Auckland and Christchurch the economics of general freight within the North Island alone is less than marginal.
    The current debate essentially started in the l970s with the Treasury judging NZ Rail unneccessary and unviable and the Railways stuck in l930s national development thinking of a protected mass haul freight service and passenger services only for commutters and isolated areas.
    During the kirk-Rowling Government debate over the future of rail and passenger services was already being dealt with essentially by committees focusing on the future of Christchurch-Wellington rail links in part due to issues of Union steamships Rangatira and the extortion of the shipping unionists and seamen. Already by l974 Roger Douglas was starting to dominating transport and labour cabinet debate and conflict with his dynamic views and model essentaily stalemated any progress but also exposed the weakness of government and railways proposals which had not no economic merit and were based on social, labour and short term logistics considerations.
    Labours current enthusiasm for railways is something of a new development as the cabinet members in the Nash, Kirk, Rowling and Clark governments did not entertain great enthusiasm for rail development and rail and rail passenger has always been a bit of an orphan for the left in this nation because like Herbert Morrison in London they thought it better that the worker got a car for his wife and children and trains were really for the stockbrokers to ride in and play with.

    • insider 16.1

      Strait Shipping pulled its Wellington Lyttelton service a couple of months ago….

    • felix 16.2

      My reply to Red Logix is that …

      If you want Red Logix to know you’re replying to him, all you have to do is hit the “reply” button under his comment. Confusing, I know.

  17. Hamish 17

    >>>Yes, and Toll basically didn’t pay the usage charges that they were required to that were meant to maintain the track. It’d take slightly more than 30 seconds to look that up. Instead they preferred to pay dividends to shareholders. That was the reason that KiwiRail was brought back it will take you minutes to find that out as well.

    Toll could not come to an agreement with ONTRACK regarding the amount of track access charges they were to pay. Both sides were probably at fault; apparently Labour appointed some real winners to run ONTRACK, no surprises there.

    >>>They didn’t buy a thing. the last locos bought were a bunch of second hand QR machines in 1995 , which were withdrawn in 2005.

    Ohh my god! You’ve outdone yourself! Have a look at which year the DQ (QR in Aussie) class were purchased. [Hint: It was after the sale of New Zealand Rail Limited]. Tranz Rail were the ones that purchased the DQ’s! You have the fact’s from Wiki right in front of you and you still are unable to work it out!! Priceless!

    And of course Tranz Rail were the ones that purchased the 90 odd (?) British Rail Mark 2 passenger cars. They form a massive fleet of passenger cars in Auckland today.

    Now, put your blinkers back on…..

    • lprent 17.1

      I noticed that you ignored the question of rather excessive road freight subsidies yet again. It is clear that it is pretty pointless debating with you.

      You sound like a spinster for the Road Transport lobby…

      Personally I think that road charges per tonne of axle should at least quadruple over the next decade. Then they’ll be starting to get back in line with the subsidies for rail track.

    • Armchair Critic 17.2

      Simple question for you Hamish – why should taxpayers subsidise roading more than any other mode of transport?

  18. Hamish 18

    >>>I noticed that you ignored the question of rather excessive road freight subsidies yet again. It is clear that it is pretty pointless debating with you.

    Yes, I did ignore it. We are talking about rail, not roading. Seams to me that when I ask something about rail, you come back with some ramble regarding roading, ignoring the original question, like you are trying to turn the topic another way, perhaps…

    >>>Simple question for you Hamish why should taxpayers subsidise roading more than any other mode of transport?

    Which method of transport do people use more [directly] ? Road or Rail ?

    >>>Because they use roading more than any other form of transport ?

    I’d tend to agree with that, but in saying that I’m not basing my opinion on any stats…

    • felix 18.1

      “Yes, I did ignore it. We are talking about rail, not roading.”

      No, we’re talking about transport subsidies, both road and rail. Read the post.

      Also, can you try a couple of things, just for me? One is the reply button. The other is quotation marks.

      Both of these would help greatly with reading your comments in context (if that’s what you want).

      • Hamish 18.1.1

        The original post claimed KiwiRail made a profit. I suggested that this is because it receive some subsidies, without which it would make a 130million loss, then I get the typical “what about the trucks?” line thrown at me. Because people are unable to grasp the way KiwiRail classes grants as income, they resort to the trucking line…

        And yes, I used the reply button, I hope that saves you a couple of brain cells while reading….

        • Anita


          You might need to explain this to me slowly; some balance sheet math makes me squint, and once I might have to factor in the PFA my head starts hurting.

          The govt gives money to a SOE for the purchase of assets, the assets go onto the balance sheet, the SOE is now worth more. Therefore the money looks like income because it increases the value of the SOE. Is that the situation?

          If it is, I see why it’s problematic to treat the increase in capital value as “profit”, but I also can’t see how else it should be accounted for, there is no offsetting debt so the net position is better. How should it be treated?

          • Hamish

            Okay: KiwiRail has been given 500mil for Auckland’s new electric train’s. This is to be used to purchase them. However, for whatever reason, KiwiRail class this as income, which in turn can be classed as a profit.

            Do you think you can see why this may be a problem ?

            • Anita

              Um… I said that I could see the situation I outlined as problematic. I explained how I think it is accounted for, and said I could see the problem but no way around it. I asked you whether my description of the situation was correct. I asked you how you thought it should be treated.

              You restarted your original description, without any additional detail, you didn’t answer either of my questions (whether my guess at how the accounting situation occurred is correct, and how you thought it should be handled).

              I am starting to think that

              * you don’t actually know or understand the detail,
              * you don’t understand accounting enough to address the actual situation,
              * you can’t come up with any way that it should be accounted for, and
              * that you’re simply parroting something you heard somewhere else without thinking about it or understanding it.

              Wanna try again?

            • lprent

              You mean the trains that Auckland transport planners have been trying to get for almost 70 years? The trains we’ve been paying taxes for? Along with the double tracking that would make them work.

              That is a large part of why Kiwirail was purchased by the government – so Auckland could finally get a transport system that works. To make a commuter system that works here requires commuter trains. We certainly don’t need more buses.

              The commuter train system is a social/economic service – not a freaking business. You seem to have the things screwed up in your head between freight and commuter services. The government is providing the money to start a service (at last).

              Of course we also do the same for the buses here. They are heavily subsidized by both local and central government. Without them, most industries would fall over because a high and rapidly increasing proportion of the workforce (including me) use them to get to and from work. Each person that uses them frees up the roads – thereby requiring less roads to be made.

        • felix

          It’s just polite to use the reply so you don’t end up plastering the thread with out-of-context repetition.

          Please check the first paragraph of the post. The questions you are openly ignoring are entirely germane to the post and the topic in general.

          It’s very clear that both road and rail are subsidised by the state but you are only taking issue with one and studiously avoiding discussion of the other.

          Why do expect everyone else to join you in ignoring half of the argument?

          • Hamish

            >>>It’s very clear that both road and rail are subsidised by the state but you are only taking issue with one and studiously avoiding discussion of the other.

            No, I’m not. It seams some posters bring up roading / trucking when I ask a question regarding rail..

            I’ll give an example:

            I said: “How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?”

            Someone replied: “How much profit does NZTA make once all the crown funding is removed?”

            That is called avoiding a question. I’m not avoiding any trucking / roading question I’m simply wondering why some feel the need to change the subject to avoid answering a question. Because they don’t have a reply to the question, perhaps, so they feel they need to change the subject..

            • felix

              That’s not avoiding the subject, Hamish, that is the subject – read the first paragraph of the post.

              If you insist that your question re profits from the rail network is relevant then you must accept that the same question can be asked of the roading network – I’m presuming here that you want to present yourself as having some level of intellectual honesty.

              If you don’t accept this, please say why.

              Because so far it looks like you know full well that the two are comparable but are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid admitting it.

              Do you know my friend Tim?

    • Armchair Critic 18.2

      Which method of transport do people use more [directly] ? Road or Rail
      By distance travelled, yes, but that wasn’t the question. I’ll put it bluntly – those trucks you see driving down the road, you are paying them to do it through a subsidy. Those trains you see running along tracks next to the road, you are also paying them a subsidy. They are both doing the same thing – moving stuff from A to B. But, and here’s the kicker, the rate of subsidy for the truck is higher.
      Given that most transport companies are marginally profitable, it is reasonable to suggest that most of the trucking companies would not be profitable without these subsidies.
      So the answer to your question about how profitable Kiwirail is without subsidies is Kiwirail is about as profitable as trucking companies doing the same thing, i.e. not profitable at all. It is clear you don’t like that answer. I’m disappointed at the quality of your attempt at an answer to my question too.
      I’m surprised that the comparison between road and rail transport seems to upset you so much, it really is a quite pertinent comparison to make. The whole issue about how best to transport goods and people around the country needs serious examination and discussion of stuff like the costs, efficiency, profitability, environmental impacts, funding and sustainability. Taking a roading good, rail bad approach into the discussion shows a distinct lack of intellect.
      Finally – I am basing my comments on my analysis of data available on the internet. If you want to be taken seriously, you should consider doing the same. Your “…I’m not basing my opinion on any stats ” statement does you no favours.

      • insider 18.2.1

        Where are the stats saying that road transport is subsidised more than rail? I haven’t found any.

        • Armchair Critic

          Like I said – it requires a bit of analysis. If you are interested then you could have a look through the ltsa website (they have helpful stuff like traffic counts, RUC data and manuals for estimating costs), and also the websites of the statistics department and the various industry groups.

          • Armchair Critic

            Or you could try this, which I have just found and haven’t read completely yet. From what I have seen it mostly supports what I have found through my own research, but it does not support other parts. And it doesn’t go into so much detail as to state whether any particular mode of surface transport is more subsidised. Specifically, it says:
            There are no up to date studies which use a comparable evaluation framework for estimating costs and charges across the three transport modes. There is also no agreed evaluation framework between stakeholders in the three transport modes on which to collect comparable costs and charges information. Therefore, this is a major information gap which is of the highest priority.
            Which is only about the costs and not on subsidy rates.

          • insider

            Oh so it’s data you created in some way only you understand. Well I suppose I’ll just have to trust you that you have looked at the right numbers, compared them appropriately and reached a sensible if somewhat general conclusion that “Kiwirail is about as profitable as trucking companies doing the same thing, i.e. not profitable at all”.

            That said, it’s not a good start when you refer me to the LTSA when they haven’t existed for about 5 years…

            I’ll stick to something like the Main Report which packages all the info into a tidy bundle and actually says what they looked at and how. Depending on how you read it, road users more than pay their way or pay only 30% of the cost.

            • Armchair Critic

              Steady on, it’s data I found, not data I created.
              You don’t have to trust me, you have a choice; accept my assertions or dispute them. Go wild. Given that the best you have come up with so far is “I haven’t found any“, followed up with a “I’ll stick to something like the Main Report…” from a report I found for you, I’m not expecting much.
              Accessing the data through is easier than – I’m well aware that LTSA do not exist as a separate entity. And since you have chosen to be pedantic – I referred you to the website, not the organisation.
              As for what the report says, I haven’t read it completely and from your final paragraph it seems you haven’t either. I’m still trying to decide whether I agree with its methodologies and conclusions and I won’t be quoting from it further until I’ve made up my mind about how reliable it is.

              • insider

                our responses crossed so I didn’t see your link. I already knew about the Main report. I think the problem you may have is the word subsidy. There is no direct subsidy on roads unlike rail, even though you might argue some of the funding has a similar effect. And teh system smears costs so some roads get more and others less per user. Is that a subsidy or just a practical management tool?

                I’ve read a lot of the rport and much of it is too specialised for me but it looks at cost of operation and revenues, and value of the assets on both road and rail. One analysis says vehicles pay their way another says they don’t. Depends on what you want to capture. Whereas rail doesn’t pay its way and needs cash from somewhere to maintain itself.

              • Armchair Critic

                our responses crossed so I didn’t see your link
                Fair enough. Having read some of your other comments after submitting my last comment it does not surprise me that you had already found the report I found. My comment about not expecting much was uncalled for.
                Is that a subsidy or just a practical management tool?
                That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I don’t have a problem with either, I just want to see them (whatever they are called) applied equally to land transport, and to get away from the whole road versus rail debate. Because that debate is not constructive.
                …[the report] looks at cost of operation and revenues…
                I recall a comment in the report that further detailed work is to be undertaken. I hope it addresses some of the issues raised here – efficient transport is so important for a NZ.

  19. Bored 19

    I think I might have started this point on the thread a few days ago. You are quite correct to point out it is not a road bad rail good argument.

    My original contention was that the road operators / privatising lobby might find rail to be much more attractive an investment if the price of fuel went through the roof (as I am certain it will). Rail has a massive advantage over road in terms of wieght moved to energy required, and a lot of the track is electrified which is even more advantageous given our hydro resources. Coastal shipping is even more efficient….I can see us going full circle but thats another story.

    My comments are based upon looking ahead at requirements that are of a national interest, and my fears that the same rentier parasitic classes might again try and take advantage and hold us to ransom.

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  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    6 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • I don’t know! 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    1 week ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    10 hours ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    3 weeks ago

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