11 June 2003


Roger Award Organisers Decide To Let Somebody Else Have A Go

In the same sporting spirit that saw the Crusaders let someone else have a turn at being Super 12 champion, the organisers of the annual Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand have decided to let some transnational corporation other than Tranz Rail win it.

The organisers – the Christchurch based groups Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa and GATT Watchdog – announced that Tranz Rail has been shunted into the newly created Hall of Shame (where it is the sole occupant, thus far) and will be ineligible to be nominated for the keenly contested Roger Award, until further notice.

In May, Tranz Rail won the 2002 Roger Award (see the complete Judges’ Report). This was the third year that it has won (the previous two being in 1997 and 2000), out of six, and it has always been a finalist and/or runner-up. So we decided, three strikes and you’re out, time to give somebody else a go.

Now that the reigning champion has been shunted onto a siding, we expect there to be fierce competition to take over the title. Tranz Rail set the standard and has been rewarded with a threepeat of titles. There is no shortage of worthy contenders wanting to have a shot at being the worst TNC in the country. Nominations will soon be called for the 2003 Roger Award and the organisers admit that we’ll miss Tranz Rail. It has taken us, and the rest of the country, for quite a ride.

Our decision was made before the Government stepped in to buy back back the tracks, plus a stake in the company, so the timing is coincidental. We congratulate it for taking this blindingly obvious and long overdue step. But, in the national interest, we say that the Government must go further and fully nationalise it. Not only should Tranz Rail be nationalised but it also should be nationalised without compensation. Considering the enormous damage it has wrought in its abysmal ten years on the job, this corporate criminal should be paying us compensation. The standard penalty rate percentages found in any performance-related contract should be applied.

Murray Horton

for the organisers

Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa
Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand
GATT Watchdog
Box 1905, Christchurch, New Zealand