KiwiRail’s “nothing to see here” spin not fooling anyone

Press Release – New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

Responding to this afternoons media release by Kiwirail , Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers Union says:MEDIA RELEASE

KIWIRAIL’S “NOTHING TO SEE HERE” SPIN NOT FOOLING ANYONE

30 NOVEMBER 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Responding to this afternoon’s media release by Kiwirail, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

“What is most revealing about these comments is what is missing. There is no denial whatsoever that KiwiRail is seeking yet another taxpayer bailout.”

“KiwiRail claims it was prudently insured. But its last annual report discloses expenses listed under ‘Incidents, casualties and insurance’ of only $13.1million. If KiwiRail is saying that its asset base – disclosed as having a replacement cost of $17billion – costs $13 million to insure, I have a bridge to sell.”

“How ridiculous to suggest that answering a question about the level of insurance cover for a past event is ‘commercially sensitive’. No one cited commercial sensitivity like this after the Christchurch earthquake and the public was kept fully informed about the costs. Past insurance cover has no relevance in terms of KiwiRail’s insurance arrangements going forward.”

“With the pressures on infrastructure spending post the Kaikoura Earthquake, the public need transparency about the cost of repairs. Only then can we have a rational discussion about how to get the best value for money in terms of the rebuild.”

ENDS

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