The Government is launching a rapid review into KiwiRail following a breakdown of critical equipment that led to major disruptions for Wellington passenger rail users.
The Review will inquire whether KiwiRail is appropriately focused on the delivery of reliable commuter services, if KiwiRail’s engagement with stakeholders regarding this breakdown was adequate, and what changes are needed to prevent reoccurrence.
“The disruption of Wellington train services this week is not good enough and follows other similar instances of service disruptions to commuters on KiwiRail’s network,” Transport Minister Michael Wood said.
“KiwiRail have accepted responsibility for the missteps which will result in further disruptions to services this week, and have reassured me they are acting quickly to restore fully functional services for commuters,” Michael Wood said.
State Owned Enterprises Minister Duncan Webb initiated the review. “I have requested a rapid investigation into the management of this event to make sure KiwiRail learns from this event, and prevent it from happening again. I expect to receive the findings of the review next month,” said Webb.
“The Government is committed to making rail more accessible and more affordable for commuters, and events like this are absolutely not acceptable,” said Wood.
“Since 2017, we have invested $8.6 billion to build a resilient and reliable network after decades of neglect and decline. Much of this is the bread and butter work of replacing track, installing new culverts and bridges, and upgrading turnouts, all of which are needed for a safe and effective network.
“We’re continuing to invest in our rail network, and last week we announced a fleet of 18 brand new trains for Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast to support the introduction of express services which will attract additional commuters.
“This investigation is vital to public confidence, and ensure New Zealanders are realising the benefits of the Government’s investment.”
Image credit: Matthew25187, CC BY-SA 3.0