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Source: Taxpayers Union

22 JUNE 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is appalled that the Government has spent $6.2 million from the Provincial Growth slush fund on upgrading a train line which has been used just three times since it re-opened. That is over $2 million a train trip.Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says: “Accompanied by a brass band, minister Shane Jones announced in 2018 that the launch of this project represented a ‘great day’. He confidently predicted there would be six trains a week on the Wairoa to Napier line. In addition to providing cheaper transport for the logging industry, the revamped line was supposed to reduce the number of trucks on the roads.”“In reality, there have been three trains in five months which equates to a miserable 0.15 trips a week. The logging industry has shunned the rail service and trucking continues unaltered. Taxpayers have spent $6.2m for effectively nothing more than press conference on a train.”“Virtually conceding defeat, the line is now ‘not currently in use’. Minister Jones has refused to comment on the issue which is a rare occurrence in itself.”“This debacle calls into question yet again the quality of spending from the Provincial Growth Fund. It turns out Shane’s toy train set was a monumental failure, unfortunately at the taxpayers’ expense.”

MIL OSI