Aratere grounding highlights urgent need for replacement ships

The grounding of the Aratere Interislander Ferry is a wake-up call to the Coalition Government; they need to front up with a realistic long term solution to moving people and freight between our islands.  

“The Interislander has been in dire straits of late with countless cancellations, delays and now a ship stranded. This tumultuous tide will not turn unless the Government comes to the table with funding,” says the Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“We call on the Government to commit to deliver replacement ships for the Cook Strait crossing by the next election. It’s time to stop playing the blame game with KiwiRail. 

“Nicola Willis' reckless decision to cancel the contract for new ferries without an alternative plan in place is disastrous for New Zealand. 

“In what has become a hallmark of this Coalition Government, it has thrown all of its transport eggs into the roading basket, failing to adequately invest in rail and low-carbon, low-cost forms of transport.

“They campaigned on funding public goods like infrastructure and cancer drugs to get people to vote for them - but instead they gave nearly $3 billion in tax cuts to landlords and are setting up our Interislander service for failure. 

“The thing is, this Government knows all too well that the Interisland ferries aren’t fit for long term purpose. Yet sadly, while they allow the conditions to fester, a maritime disaster grows more likely.

“It’s time for the Government to take responsibility and present some real solutions rather than continue making excuses,” says Julie Anne Genter.

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