Unions and Labour support massive subsidies for 30 tourists a day

It looks like the Unions and Labour are happy to take on a $3,000,000 annual loss for the sake of 30 tourists a day.

That is a subsidy of more than $250 per person per trip at those loadings.

And what happens to those tourists?

Do they disappear in a puff of smoke because the train has gone, or do they catch the bus like the others?

I hardly think many people are going to change their plans to visit New Zealand because a train ride from Picton to Christchurch is denied them in winter.

It looks like KiwiRail have made a pretty realistic attempt to increase passenger numbers. 

KiwiRail needed to sell 130 seats on each service to break even, and on some days the number was as low as 30, she said.

Initiatives such as scenic carriages, a new menu and packages including whale watching and wine tasting have been introduced since 2011 to try and boost passenger numbers.

“However, we still have a business to run and the revenue loss from the drop in passenger numbers is not sustainable,” said Ms Hume.

Remember that it is our money that they are losing, and someone should be saying “well done”.  Instead labour and the Unions are saying:

“it sends a signal to tourism operators overseas that our own Government lacks faith in the rebuild of Christchurch” (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson)

“If the Government’s expectations of KiwiRail were more realistic and it took a more hands-on approach to economic development, the Coastal Pacific service – and others that are being cut back around the country – might have a fighting chance.” (Iain Lees-Galloway)

“It’s recognised by everyone that it will be a slow build to recover tourist traffic but suspending services like the Coastal Pacific link will only add to the problem,” (Andrew Little)

Shutting down a train for a few months is hardly going to change the Christchurch rebuild. It is costing the country billions, and every bit saved is worthwhile.

Job well done KiwiRail. Sensible decision, made reluctantly.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    Not surprised, labour and the unions have always been good at spending OTHER PEOPLES MONEY!!!!
    Didn’t Margaret Thatcher say…”The problem with socialism is, you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

  • Michael

    A job subsidy of $3 million for two train crews of half a dozen people each? Much cheaper for Kiwirail to tell them to stay home and still pay them.

  • In Vino Veritas

    It would appear that Michael Cullen is a little bit brighter than Ian Lees-Galloway.It seems that the old Labour’s intellectuals have been replaced by people who have less intellectual capability as well as no business sense.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Agreed, but at the time I didn’t think you could get more stupid than some of the labour OLD guard…I was wrong!!

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      I am recommending a “Tourist Train Levy” of $10 for each domestic air ticket sold…..

      • johnbronkhorst

        That’s how rail is subsidised now except instead of air tickets, it’s ROAD taxes (via RUC or petrol tax).

  • No surprises there.
    This is the same Labour party which for decades ensured the Railway Workers Union had 20,000 members sitting around playing cards all day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months per year for a 40 year career and being paid to do it. These workers then took their paypackets down to the pub for the 6 o’clock swill before staggering home to bash their wives and children.
    These are the same workers who are held up as salt of the earth working class heroes in University politics lectures and tutorials.
    Welcome to the NZ Chris Trotter wants to bring back.

    • StupidDisqus

      Well yeah – but it meant they had 40,000 “workers” trudging into the polling place to vote Labour every 3 years…

  • Gazzaw

    I’ve got news for the unions regarding the revamped Auckland – Wellington passenger rail service and it’s all bad.

    • Hazards001

      Don’t suppose you could extend that bad news to a certain train set a certain half wit wants to play with could you?

  • StupidDisqus

    own Government lacks faith in the rebuild of Christchurch

    thank fuck. At least someone is telling it like it is. Now can we please tear up all the tracks, crush the rolling stock and sell it all for scrap? And can we please do the same for Chch?