Sharechat Logo

What saved rail in New Zealand?

Friday 12th May 2000

Text too small?

Retiring managing director Dr Francis Small said a belief among key staff that it had a contribution to make to the economy saved rail. Other reasons were:

  • Acceptance by key stakeholders - politicians, management, staff, unions, customers - that dramatic action had to be taken to fundamentally change a shambolic system if it was to survive.

  • A road to Damascus conversion for then railways minister Richard Prebble some time during his 1985-86 "Save Rail" campaign. "Somewhere along the way ... 'Prebs' [found that] delightful phrase 'I'm going to save rail - but not for all of you.'"

  • Some "pretty brave actions" by groups of senior staff and managers who took key steps, realising they meant there would be no future for them in the reshaped company.

  • Prompt actions that made fundamental changes without upsetting the customers too much - from changed timetables to reworked management information systems and even to reducing goods yards and workshops.

  • Communications programme which at each step had Little Red Books supplied to staff, detailing the change. "Those involved had a belief the business would survive and would make an important contribution to New Zealand industry."
- Ray Lilley
  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

NZ dollar steady ahead of Fed decision, NZ GDP
Vital proceeds with $37m first stage of Wakefield Hospital redevelopment
Risks from exploration ban coming to pass
Pushpay lifts annual earnings guidance; shares rise
Treasury mindful of gaps in living standards framework
Cannasouth slumps on debut as investors back blue-chips
Zespri signals profit growth, trims expected fruit and services payment
Wider annual current account deficit meets expectations
Wider annual current account deficit meets expectations
19th June 2019 Morning Report

IRG See IRG research reports