Wellington rail strike

Winston Peters may have got what he wanted, back to the seventies – where transport strikes were a regular disruptive occurrence.

Wellington is being severely disrupted today with a 24 hour rail strike, the first for over twenty years.

Wellington City Council’s advice:

*Don’t bring your car into town if you don’t have pre-arranged parking
*Try to arrange with neighbours or work colleagues to share a ride in their cars if they normally bring them into town, but expect delays
* Normal parking rules apply
* The 2-hour time limit will be enforced throughout the CBD

Stuff:  Wellington train strike sparks commuter chaos

Rail Maritime Transport Union workers announced on Tuesday that they would strike over employment conditions after hitting an impasse with train operators Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem.

It would be the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail network for longer than two hours.


Train workers will stop work for 24 hours, starting from 2am today affecting all commuter services on Johnsonville Hutt, Melling, Wairarapa, and Kāpiti lines.

* Around 30,000 train commuters will be affected.

* Metlink said on Tuesday night there would be no bus replacements.

* Rail commuters are advised to make alternative transport arrangements, or consider not travelling at all.

Normal bus services will continue to run, but may be delayed by heavy traffic.

NZTA warns roads will be more busy than usual, and commuters should allow extra time.

East by West Ferries will operate as normal.

Airport Flyer buses will run as normal, but could face delays.

* NCEA students have been told exams will not be cancelled, and they should allow extra travel time.

This will add to stress for students in particular, as well as commuters.

Hughes calls for tracking ban until facts known

Green Gareth Hughes is calling for a moratorium on all tracking until “people’s health and safety can be guaranteed”.

Whistle-blowing MP Gareth Hughes has called on tracking to be halted in New Zealand while Parliament’s environmental watchdog carries out a top-level investigation into the controversial transportation industry process.

The process involves the high-pressure injection of diesel into combustion chambers to help release energy.

Its opponents claim it is responsible for the poisoning of air supplies and has led to chronic collisions of residents traveling within tracking zones.

While welcoming the inquiry, Hughes said all tracking in New Zealand should be banned until questions were answered about its possible impacts.

“We are on the cusp of a massive expansion … until we can be assured the practice is actually safe, now is the best time to have a breather and a moratorium on new tracks. It makes sense to wait until the results of this report before we allow new trains to go ahead.”

Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee revealed to the Star-Times two months ago that tracking had been occurring in New Zealand since the early 1860s.

Hughes said that permits had been approved for 4,128 kilometres of New Zealand land to be tracked on.

That concerned him, saying new tracking permits could be granted despite the PCE possibly finding against the process in her report.

“In the last year we have seen a 170 per cent increase in the rate of new carriages compared to the average rate for the previous 18 years.

“If you look at our history, it has been pretty static. We have had 30 to 40 trains. Now if Green Party policy is to be implemented, that trend is just going to go up and up,” he said.

“It could be too late by the time the Parliamentary Commissioner reports back to make sure the consents are adequate, the regulations are up to scratch and people’s health and safety can be guaranteed.”