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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)


[Extract from the General Statement of the Board's Policy.]

The policy to be followed by the Board is expressed in general terms in Section 14 of the Government Railways Amendment Act, 1931, which reads as follows:—

“14. (1) It is hereby expressly declared that the general functions of the Board shall be to carry on, control, manage, and maintain the Government railways to the end that the railways, while being maintained as a public service in the interests of the people of New Zealand and as an essential factor in the development of trade and industry, shall be so carried on, controlled, managed, and maintained on the most economical basis, having regard to the economic and financial conditions from time to time affecting the public revenues and trade and industry in New Zealand, with a view to obtaining a maximum of efficiency and maintaining a proper standard of safety and a reasonable standard of comfort and convenience for persons using the railways and any other services carried on in connection therewith.

“(2) The Board shall, having regard to all such matters as aforesaid, provide reasonable remuneration and grant reasonable conditions of employment to all persons permanently or temporarily employed in the service of the Department.

“(3) It shall be the duty of the Board from time to time to consult with and obtain from the Minister of Finance all such information respecting the state of the public revenues as will enable it to carry out its functions as aforesaid in the best interests of New Zealand, and the Board shall have due regard to any such information as aforesaid that may from time to time be furnished to it by the Minister of Finance.”

Obviously, the first obligation implied in this section is the obligation to give service. When the Board took over the control of this Department it found that a review of the train services had just been made. Where the services that had been in operation were found to have been beyond reasonable requirements they had been eliminated. The Board undertook a further review, not only of the train services, but of all other branches of service that were, or might be, afforded by the Department. As far as the train services were concerned, it was found that there were still some services the continuance of which was not economically justified, and where the circumstances showed that a rearrangement of the time-table was desirable this was done….