Parnell Turns Up Heat On KiwiRail


The group behind the Parnell train station proposal has laid a formal complaint with the Ombudsman over KiwiRail.

Debbie Harkness, Manager Parnell Inc. says she considers they are abusing the Official Information Act by delaying the release of documents outlining their plans for the Cheshire St site where Mainline Steam presently house their trains.

She says there has been anger among Parnell residents and businesses after KiwiRail failed to turn up to the Hobson Community Board meeting on Tuesday to discuss their proposal for NZ Bus to lease the site for a Link bus depot.

“With over 1,000 residents and businesses signing a petition against KiwiRail’s plan, you would think KiwiRail’s management would have turned up to engage with a key local community.

“As a state-owned entity, the behaviour of KiwiRail is deeply disturbing and reeks of corporate arrogance,” said Ms Harkness who added that “they have greatly underestimated the local community’s feelings against dumping 100 buses in historic Parnell.”

Her group is pushing for the site to be developed into a world-leading architectural project centered around the existing Mainline Steam depot building, including creating a future destination train station for Parnell.




  1. karl says:

    Not sure whether there’s any basis in the complaint that KiwiRail is dragging its feet on an OIA* but she should get her figures right too. How come it’s suddenly 100 buses? The proposal was for 60.

    Of course she only exaggerating by 66 percent, so surely that’s okay?

    *Ironically, if KiwiRail was still a privately-held company, they could just tell the Parnell residents to go away and drink a coffee or something and stop bothering them with this.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Karl The meeting heard there were 50 buses but that meant 100 bus movements a day from 5.30am until late at night.

  3. @Karl KiwiRail is dragging its feet. Under the Official Information Act they had 20 working days to deliver the information requested. They are now 10 working days (two weeks) overdue. That’s enough basis for complaint under the Act.

    And no, KiwiRail can not just tell Parnell residents to go away and have a coffee (doubtless at one of our many excellent cafes) because getting buses off on on the site will have severe impacts on this community. Thank god we live in a country where big business can’t just have its way at the expense of residents and citizens.

    It’s also worthwhile pointing out that this land KiwiRail is now being so cavalier with, was carved off The Domain (a gift to the people of New Zealand) to make way for the rail corridor. KiwiRail should see itself as a guardian of this land and the community should be allowed a say in its future!

  4. karl says:

    Debbie, I certainly agree with you on “where big business can’t just have its way at the expense of residents and citizens.”, though I think if anything, the ability of big businesses to do just that is growing under our current government, and our dear Mr Hide who sees it all as red tape!

    Still, as I said - if KiwiRail was a private company, you would not even have this ability to resort to OIA requests.

    And the taking of the land for the rail corridor was about ~ a hundred years ago. Not really relevant, I am afraid, especially as both rail and buses are also a great public good, and were also government owned for much of the time since.

    I see and agree with some of your points, but I think you are yourself a bit cavalier on others. Where do YOU see the buses going to be stabled for the inner city uses? What is Parnell doing to facilitate a positive outcome, rather than one that just isn’t IN Parnell.

  5. karl says:

    “Karl The meeting heard there were 50 buses but that meant 100 bus movements a day from 5.30am until late at night.”

    And then repeating it as “100 buses” is playing loose and fast with the facts. I am a traffic engineer. I CONSTANTLY have the public twist my words around like that - I say “100 truck movements a day” in my report, and the next day, someone activist in the paper says “They are planning to have a hundred trucks come here every day”. Simply doubling it because of shoddy argumenting or outright propaganda. I think a little bit more exactness would not go amiss in all the heated debate.

  6. Aaron says:

    If the road is too steep and narrow for a locomotive how can it be sufficient for 100+ vehicle movements a day. Its been a railway depot since before I was born and it will be when I’m gone!


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>