Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Faith in the market

Obviously our shipping companies have no faith in the free market.

That's the only interpretation one can make of their claim that up to 30,000 passengers won't be able to get across Cook Strait at Christmastime.

Normally, we're supposed to believe in the ability of the market to provide and fill market niches - to the extent that our Commerce Act doesn't even require real competition, but simply the possibility that someone could theoretically enter the market. Yet here, we're expected to believe that there will be 30,000 people - a third of the Interislander's Christmas volume - willing to stump up for an overpriced fare to get to Wellington, and that noone will try and part them from their money.

Yeah, right.

If the District Council lowers the speed limit, then it simply provides someone else with the opportunity to take up the slack. I'd have thought that the Inter-Islander's competitors would welcome that opportunity, not decry it.