Lively Debate Continues: Infratil versus Thales


Back on Saturday morning,  I mentioned how lobbying was intensifying once again to publicly call for Infratil’s Wellington-established Snapper card to get the national integrated ticketing tender - even though it’s been confirmed as being French company Thales, ARTA’s preferred tenderer.
The Herald’s main Saturday columnist recommended Infratil’s Snapper card gets a re-think after a persuasive visit to the Herald from Infratil lobbyists persuaded him they were the better option.

Now popular Wellington-based right - wing blog Kiwiblog has agreed with that Herald opinion piece and it’s led to a lively debate among Kiwiblog readers.

Samples of the arguments going on:

“Snapper is NOT integrated ticketing. Perhaps it can be extended but there is zero demonstrated experience of them doing it. Zero. Thales has done it successfully in a number of cities…”

“Snapper *is* an integrated ticketing system. It’s currently used in Seoul across 10,000 buses, 45,000 taxis and 6.000 metro stations by 10 million people everyday. It deals with transport operators that are private, public, mixed and on gross and net contracts.”

Here’s why this is important.
Have a read of the comments. They were up to 33 last time I looked today. David Farrar’s Kiwiblog is the darling blog of the Wellington political set (David has worked for and still does work for National) so if the debate on his blog steps up strongly in Infratil’s favour, it may help the company get a re-think in the Beehive.

The Herald continued its campaign for Snapper instead of Thales with an editorial today -

“(Infratil) is so well along the road to a national ticketing system that it would be strange to prefer a distant supplier. If Infratil’s subsidiary can deliver a Korean cash-card system for less money than the agencies have budgeted, and in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, it would be sensible to take it. The national agency seems to be open to that possibility. Since it will meet most of the cost, Auckland’s regional bodies may have to bury their antagonism and get on board.”

The government does want something in place by the RWC which is as far as the government’s vision for NZ takes it for now. If enough people keep saying Infratil’s line that it can deliver best in time for the RWC and this Infratil-fuelled public support campaign continues, don’t be surprised if there is a re-think.




  1. Matt says:

    Except that, if there *is* a re-think, we won’t have a snowball-in-hell’s chance of having *anything* for the RWC. Rolling out Snapper is not something that can just occur magically.

    Also, whatever happened to that wonderful thing, the market? Infratil and Thales competed, Infratil lost. The market has spoken. Where’s Rodney to object to this sullying of its sanctity.


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