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Toll seeks NZ discussion&semicolan Tranz Rail to renegotiate ferry lease

<p>Toll Holdings says it is disappointed that New Zealand finance minister Michael Cullen has declined an offer to discuss the Tranz Rail ownership issue.</p> <p>Toll managing director Paul Little said the company has written to Dr Cullen and suggested a meeting over the question of working in partnership with the NZ Government &#8211 which has declared its intention to buy back the rail network from Tranz Rail.</p> <p>"We’re disappointed that he won’t meet prior to the shareholders’ meeting on 11 July as we wanted to clear up any misconceptions the minister may have had about our intentions, which are to own and operate the asset on a long-term basis, whether that includes the tracks or not," Mr Little said.</p> <p>This squabble is the latest in a series of twists on the future of Tranz Rail.</p> <p>On the back of the latest government offer, Tranz Rail is now saying it will try and exit its arrangements for the <em>Aratere</em> ferry lease.</p> <p>If the low-cost exit option is exercised, Tranz Rail will take ownership of the <em>Aratere</em> &#8211 a move that it believes will "open up the full range of fleet configurations".</p> <p>It will also allow the company to realise up to $NZ10m in foreign exchange gains.</p> <p>New Zealand media reports suggest that before the end of the week Toll will make a new offer for Tranz Rail that reflects the recent developments involving the government. </p> <br />