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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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