Government welcomes report into KiwiRail disruption

The Government has today released the rapid review “KiwiRail’s Handling of Recent Disruptions to Passenger Services”.

The review was initiated by Ministers after speed restrictions caused by the unavailability of KiwiRail’s track evaluation car led to major delays to passenger services in Wellington. 

“I welcome the release of this review. It highlights areas of improvement for KiwiRail and priorities to improve the system, so that further disruption like this is avoided,” David Parker said. 

“I am advised that, following this review, KiwiRail has already fixed specific failings that led to the track evaluation car not completing its assessments on time, which caused commuter chaos.

“However, the Government has set a clear expectation with KiwiRail that it reports on its progress towards implementing each of the Review’s recommendations, to ensure it learns from the findings.”

The independent reviewers investigated delivery issues affecting metro passenger services across New Zealand, with a particular focus on the Wellington track evaluation problems.

“The review focused on actions that can be taken quickly to improve the performance of the passenger rail network,” Duncan Webb said.

“The report recommended better governance arrangements for metro passenger services, and further work to ensure that safety standards and procedures are keeping up with the needs of our growing metro networks.

“It recommended further work on re-prioritisation to ensure there are sufficient funds to maintain the network as service demand increases. Other recommendations cover more detailed changes to improve the network and avoid future incidents.”

 David Parker said that improving the reliability of the New Zealand’s metro rail network is a priority for this Government.

“Having a dependable, efficient and resilient passenger rail network is absolutely critical for commuters, while also forming a key part of the Government's emissions reduction plan.

“I will also ask the Ministry of Transport to urgently look at the Metropolitan Rail Operating Model, which includes options to fix the funding issues raised in the report,” he said.

The report is on the Ministry of Transport website here.