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Sunday, 19 May 2019 10:32 pm

Greens loyal on rail, despite value drop

Nov 5th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

The Green Party still supports Labour’s decision to buy Kiwi Rail – despite its value dropping by $255 million, a loss equivalent to $56 for every New Zealander.

It should never have been sold in the first place and eventually it will leave New Zealand better off, says Green Party member Sue Bradford (pictured).

“In the long run it will end up paying for itself,” she says. “They are going to be independent rails used for carrying freight and people.

“We’re at peak oil now – it’s getting to expensive to drive cars. Buying Kiwi rail is future-proofing NZ and will get NZers out of cars and busses.”  

She says the green party disagrees with comments made by National finance spokesman Bill English that Labour “recklessly” paid hundreds of millions too much because it was desperate to buy Toll Rail for political reasons.

“Completely disagree with National. We need a rail system in this country.”

The Treasury shows the value of Kiwi Rail has dropped more than a third, from $690 million to just $448 million in the three months since it was bought.

Mr English says it is an interim valuation and further multi-million losses are expected on the deal as Treasury writes down the value to meet accounting standards.

A spokesman from Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s office says the amounts might be adjusted after a full evaluation was completed of the Kiwi rail rolling stock and a review of the assets and liabilities.

Kiwi rail was originally sold in 1993 for $328.3 million ($472 million in today’s dollars) to US company Wisconsin Rail by the National Government led by Prime Minister Jim Bolger

The Labour party bought Kiwi Rail from Toll on June 30.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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