10 March 2008

the standard of The Standard

Well this post says it all. It is about as factually correct as the Korean Central News Agency.

Take this:

Toll has been a classic asset-stripper: buy a key piece of infrastructure that should never have been sold, take as much profit as possible with minimal investment, and force the Government to buy the infrastructure back to prevent further economic damage.”

For starters, Toll never bought the track, which this implies. In fact Dr Cullen and the Labour government did a cozy little deal with Toll to bid for Tranz Rail. The Beehive press release here makes it clear that Toll and Dr Cullen were acting hand in glove. The government was "never forced", Toll never bought the infrastructure. Utter lies.


Secondly, this “as much profit as possible” is rather hilarious. $34.7 million net profit after tax in 2007 is hardly raking it in on assets of $791 million. No wonder Toll wants out. The asset stripping is also a fascinating claim. How? What has been stripped? Maybe Steve Pierson knows better, or maybe he is interviewing Microsoft Word with his own manufactured delusions.

Thirdly, it claims that "lines have been closed". What? By the state? Only one line has been closed since Toll took over, the tiny Castlecliff branch in Wanganui (and it hasn't been removed). Even since privatisation the lines mothballed consists of Rotorua, Taneatua and Whakatane. Far more lines closed under government ownership in the 1980s (Kurow, Otago Central, Okaihau, Thames, Seddonville, Makareao). Not that this was wrong, but the implication is that services were dropped from those who used them - when in fact lines like Kurow had just two freight trains a week - hardly a reason to get excited.

So if the Standard has this standard of research and writing, you might ask what else it does well?


Anonymous said...

Scott, good post, but think it's Steve Pierson you mean.

Sam Pierson

Libertyscott said...

oh yes, damnit, sorry I'll change it.