New Zealand First says the Government’s deeply flawed KiwiRail Turnaround Plan has created a raft of serious health and safety issues within our national railway.
Transport spokesman Brendan Horan says the Turnaround Plan is cutting 181 KiwiRail maintenance jobs at the very time they are needed most.
"Investigations have already uncovered one dangerous rail crossing at Ruffles Rd on the Main Trunk Line near Hamilton where dodgy sleepers are held in place by little more than asphalt.
"This could well lead to a derailment disaster with the loss of a significant number of lives."
Mr Horan says skilled KiwiRail maintenance workers are being replaced by contractors, some of whom are flouting health and safety regulations.
"There were moves today to blacklist one contracting company for these sorts of regulation breaches which puts at risk all those who work alongside them.
"It is time for the Government to launch an inquiry into its Turnaround Plan so adequate maintenance of our rail network and the retention of KiwiRail jobs becomes a priority," says Mr Horan.
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