14 Dec 2023

KiwiRail on ferry replacement funding trouble

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 14 December 2023

KiwiRail has been told to find new, cheaper options to upgrade its fleet of Interislander ferries. Two new mega ferries had been planned, with 400-million-dollars already paid to boat builders, although construction hasn't begun. The ferries would have required new port terminals in Wellington and Picton, and with costs blowing out by one-point-five-billion-dollars, the new government has declined to pay. The former Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, echoed Nicola Willis' statements in saying the added cost was not acceptable, but he says certainty is now needed over how a sustainable and reliable Cook Strait service can be provided. Corin Dann spoke to KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy.