NZ Labour Letter February 2016, Vol. 7 No. 2
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National Labour News
KiwiRail is so strapped for cash that some lines are in a state of “managed decline” at a time when the road transport lobby is demanding more and bigger trucks on our roads, warned the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said numerous lines such as the Stillwater-Ngakawau, the Napier line and the Northland line are only being maintained to a standard that KiwiRail acknowledges will result in deterioration. “Discussions with KiwiRail and our union on a proposed change in the make-up of maintenance gangs led to management admitting this sorry state of affairs,” he said. Butson reported that other lines like the Wellington to Auckland North Island Main Trunk Line and the Picton to Invercargill South Island Main Trunk Line are only being cared for to a standard that will maintain their current state. “We are of the view that this is not good enough and our national railway network should be improved,” said Butson. “It beggars belief that in a modern 21st century developed economy we have a railway system that is funded in a manner that loads cost on the operator whilst the trucking industry does not pay the price for the environmental damage and congestion it causes.”
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