Thursday, 6 March 2008

National gets something right

I was shocked and frustrated to read this week that the Labour-led minority coalition Government is trying to buy back Toll NZ's rail and ferry business.

It's been reported that Cullen's crazy crowd offered Toll Holdings up to $500 million for the New Zealand railways, but thankfully that offer was rejected by the Aussies.

But after National leader John Key's silly misstep about whether National would have let an overseas pension plan invest money in a New Zealand company (Auckland Airport), it was good to see Deputy leader Bill English come out strongly against Labour's latest barmy idea...
Mr English said the last thing New Zealand wanted was the Government to own the rail company.

“We certainly wouldn’t be buying Toll. The worst thing for our railway network would be for the Government to take it over using the OnTrack company, (the State-owned enterprise which runs the rail tracks) which is chaired by the Labour Party president Mike Williams,” Mr English said.
English says governments had a bad record on operating rail companies, and he didn't believe the current Labour-led one would be any better. He said if the purchase was completed, then a National government would get out of the business as quickly as possible.

And as English rightly points out, a renationalised railway company would see a return to strikes on the ferries over school holidays, along with a return to "featherbedding" (the Union practice of requiring an employer to hire more workers than is necessary for a particular job).

* NBR: English: We might re-sell Toll
* Hat tip: Kiwiblog

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