The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
The company has told shareholders it is "appalled" by Treasury's recommendation that the Government shut down the rail network.
"Mainfreight is one of New Zealand's most successful companies, with $2 billion in annual revenues, and 6000 employees working across its international operations. It knows more than almost anybody else about moving freight. When they criticise Government transport policy like this, the Government should seriously take note.
"In a report to its annual shareholder meeting, the company said current and future roading was not capable of meeting the company's needs, and it would like to see more positive support for long-term rail infrastructure.
“Mainfreight is right. National is obsessed with building new motorways but has nothing much to say about other elements of the transport system like rail, or the country’s ports.
"The company says its rail usage is up 76 per cent over the past ten years, with further tonnage available to transfer from road to rail.
"Treasury should have a chat with Mainfreight, Toll, Fonterra and all the other big freight customers who understand that rail is an indispensable part of the country's transport network.
“It is time for a national freight strategy that gets the best out of roads, rail and ports to deliver an efficient and sustainable transport system.”