NZ First leader Winston Peters wants a full ministerial inquiry into KiwiRail’s “mishandling” of the Aratere saga, after revelations the company plans to fit two new propellers to the ferry next year.
Peters said he was staggered such a scenario could even be contemplated, given that Aratere had had two prolonged visits to Singapore dockyards over the past three years, both of which included propeller fittings.
The 2011 extension of the Aratere cost taxpayers about $50 million, and this year’s refurbishment had resulted in additional across-the-board costs to KiwiRail of about $30m. “After all that money, they still have not fixed this lemon,” Peters said yesterday.
This is a classic case of why taxpayers should not own competitive companies.
If the Bluebridge makes a bad decision on a ferry, and loses money on it, and has delays – we don’t care one iota.
Likewise we should not care about the Interislander, except that we own it.
The Government’s focus should be on ensuring we have competition on the Cook Strait route, which we do. Now on owning ships, and doing a bad job of it.