13 May 2014

Minister has no concerns over ferries

12:25 pm on 13 May 2014

The Minister of Transport says he doubts an investigation into the Cook Strait ferry service will find anything worrying.

The Stena Alegra.

The Stena Alegra. Photo: SEA MEDIA

Maritime New Zealand is investigating claims from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters that Interislander ferries were involved in three accidents in the past two weeks which were subsequently covered up.

KiwiRail says there was no cover-up but the crew involved in the allegations have been stood down and drug tested as part of the investigation.

Gerry Brownlee says Maritime New Zealand is right to look into the claims, but he does not think they will find anything unusual.

Mr Brownlee says it is normal to stand down employees during investigations.

Mr Peters, however, is standing by his claims.

Winston Peters.

Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

He has says there were two near misses and in the third incident Stena Alegra was damaged after it hit the wharf in Picton.

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy has rubbished those claims and those of a cover-up.

He says there have been about 15 near misses in the industry over the past three years and only a few have been worth investigating.

But Mr Peters told Morning Report Kiwirail has a shameful track record and he trusts his sources more than the company's word.