Minister supports ‘fair-go’ rules on Waiheke Island ferry route

Hon Nikki Kaye says she encouraged the group to launch a petition and will be presenting it to parliament.
DIANA WORTHY

Hon Nikki Kaye says she encouraged the group to launch a petition and will be presenting it to parliament.

A call to regulate Waiheke's ferry route is being backed by Auckland Central MP Hon Nikki Kaye.

New Waiheke Island campaign group Fair-Go4Waiheke launched a petition on Saturday, July 16, aiming for a rule change that will ensure fair competition.

It comes after Explore Ferries' decision to stop competing against Fullers Ferries on the route between Auckland and Waiheke.

At present, the route is exempt from regulations that apply to all other transport operators in Auckland.

Kaye said she had spoken to campaign group founders Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart and encouraged them to launch the petition.

"I think we all had really high hopes when Explore was in the market that we'd get better services but when the company dropped out, it was very clear to me that things had to change."

She said the real issue was about capacity, with people now being left on the wharf.

Kaye said she would be presenting the petition to parliament on behalf of Waiheke Island.

She is planning meetings from around the beginning of August with the New Zealand Transport Authority, Auckland Transport and Fullers Ferries.

"I think the petition presents a stronger case for the Transport Minister removing the exemption if all agencies are on board." 

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