Live: Transport Minister fronts up over ferry grounding

Transport Minister Simeon Brown said the government has been disappointed in KiwiRail’s asset management after Friday’s ferry grounding.

The Interislander ferry Aratere ran aground near Picton and will likely stay there till Saturday night at the earliest.

The ferry had been on a freight-only sailing when it suffered a steering failure and crashed about 9.45pm on Friday. No one was injured and there was no environmental damage, KiwiRail said. All passengers have been evacuated.

Brown said his understanding was that there was a new piece of equipment that had been recently installed and may not have responded properly.

He said it relates to how the rudders work, but that the KiwiRail, TAIC and Maritime NZ investigations will get to the bottom of it.

“That is my understanding … they lost the ability to steer the ship.”

Brown said ministers have made their expectations clear that KiwiRail must take all the necessary steps to maintain safety and reliability.

KiwiRail is working on plans to refloat the vessel at hightide on Saturday about 9pm.

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According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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