I found an A5-sized pamphlet on the ferry headed "Customer Announcement: An Apology to Our Waiheke Customers". I can't find it on their website to link to, so I'll paraphrase. It says they had a larger number than expected vessels out of service due to what they call "unplanned maintenance", a euphemism for engine breakdown. Planned maintenance on Adventurer had to be delayed due to the Rugby World Cup and its unusually busy period (didn't they know this event was coming?).
Then for some statistics: in the past 3 years, 13 out of 20 engines have been rebuilt or replaced (several boats have two engines, it's not as if Fullers have a secret fleet stashed away somewhere) at a cost of over $4 million. Regardless, the "unusually high breakdown rates" indicate to me either bad engineering skills or patch-up work to keep costs down in the short term (but of course not in the long term, as any business 101 course will tell you).
But happily we can look forward to the triumphant return of Superflyte on the 6:30pm ex-Auckland sailing (after a spate of sardine-like conditions lately), and Doug Hudson is looking forward to your comments. Leave your feedback here.
You really have to be stupid not to think that the point of catastrophic breakdown of the ferry system in Auckland, i.e. when there are simply not enough vessels to meet the demand, is not far off and that the company is derelict in its investment plans for new capacity. The tragedy is that there is simply no mechanism or regulation in place to ensure that Waiheke is not economically strangled by this private profiteering monopoly company.
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