KiwiRail mum on Aratere failure

Last updated 08:47 01/07/2014
Aratere
Fairfax NZ
RETURN: Repaired Interislander ferry Aratere on its way back to NZ.

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KiwiRail has "a pretty clear indication" why Aratere's starboard propeller shaft broke off in Cook Strait on November 5 last year.

However, it will not be sharing that information with the travelling public any time soon.

Chief executive Peter Reidy made this observation at a special Aratere media briefing in Wellington yesterday.

The troubled ferry is expected back in Wellington this week after undergoing three months of intensive repair work in Singapore.

Reidy, who took over as chief executive this year, said he wanted KiwiRail subsidiary InterIslander to be more transparent.

This new approach to transparency did not extend to sharing the results of the intensive investigation, involving global "maritime experts", into why Aratere's propeller shaft broke.

Fairfax asked Reidy when the public would be told why the propeller fell off.

"Right now we have tried to give you as much detail as we can," Reidy said. "We have a pretty clear indication and we will follow a commercial process through.

"Once we get to the end of that process, then we will update you. I cannot tell you how long that will take . . .

"We are going through a commercial and legal process.

"We will not rush that. These things take time. When we can inform the public we will do that. That is a commitment we have made."

The recommissioning of Aratere would also take time after it arrived back in Wellington, he said.

Aratere would operate a reduced sailing schedule - down from its usual three daily return crossings before the propeller fell off - when it re-enters service on Monday next week.

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- The Marlborough Express

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