Wednesday, March 27, 2024

David Farrar: What if the Interislander folded?

The Herald reports:

StraitNZ was founded by Ōtorohanga businessman Jim Barker in 1992 as Strait Shipping.

Its current Cook Strait vessels are the Strait Feronia, and the Connemara.

They each make four Cook Strait crossings daily and carry about 35 per cent of total Cook Strait passenger volumes. The business also operates a road freight network which carries about 55-57 per cent of all road freight, said McMahon. The company employs up to 600 people, depending on the season.
I didn't realise they already did 35% of Cook Strat passengers and over 50% of road freight.
They do all this without costing the taxpayer a cent. In fact I presume they make a profit.

This makes me wonder what would happen if say Kiwirail just announced it would stop the Interislander service in say five years time.

The first thing I expect would be StraitNZ (Bluebridge) would increase their capacity – perhaps going from two to four ferries.

The second thing I expect is that one or more other operators would emerge as competitors to them.

This could be a good outcome.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.

No comments: