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Covid the new rail excuse

Letter

Rae O'Connor thinks Jacinda Ardern can be trusted. How about all the promises her Government has broken, such as planting forests, building houses, reducing the number of poor children as well as repairs to our railway line?

A recent letter I wrote to Jacinda regarding our railway line was replied to by Shane Jones, who said: “KiwiRail has concluded that given the more pressing priorities in the national economic response to Covid-19, a business case for the railway line should not be progressed at this time.”

They had over two years to action this with no Covid-19. If you can't keep your promises, can you be trusted? The answer is “No”.

Reg Hart

Leave a Reply to Phil Hunt, Picton Cancel reply

  1. Alan Loye says:

    Get your priorities right Reg. You have to acknowledge, face and act on more urgent problems as they arise and I would venture to suggest that the tenuous rail link from Wairoa to Gisborne is well down the priority list of expenditure, and has been for some time with both Governments – whatever their political leanings. If you can’t or won’t see this as a fact of life of the actual situation then far be it for me to try to push water uphill with a rake.

  2. Phil Hunt, Picton says:

    As some will know, in the UK a large number of branch lines were shut in the 1960s. Each of those lines contributed (in a small way) to the total freight task across the country.
    Today, in the UK (before Covid) the freight task is far below what it was in those days. So the freight on rail from Gisborne to Napier (relatively small admitted) was subtracted from the whole system, as a large part of that freight carried on – often as far as Christchurch – on rail. It then transferred to road.
    This in turn led to more damage to the roads, all of which has to be paid for at a greater cost than the rail maintenance.
    No one in local government, central government (NZTA) has ever published the figures to show the cost of road maintenance for Napier-Gisborne SH2 or, in fact, SH1s Picton-Christchurch (before 2016 earthquake). If we knew those figures, railway supporters might accept road is better, but not until the true costs and facts are known.

  3. Richard says:

    It is deeply disturbing that a rail monopoly and in this case an SOE, thus compounding the mischief, consistently advocates against an improvement to the nation’s rural rail network by aggressively overstating the cost of line reinstatements, in this case the Wairoa to Gisborne line.

    Is this a boardroom tactic to squeeze yet more funding from the tax payers who provide the source of their funding. Therefore a natural consequence of this negativity is to enable the SOE to use rural rails supposedly “poor return on investment” to simply not doing anything. Lets keep the city slickers happy with metropolitan services and let the rural ruffians ruminate. After all – they are the minorities – aren’t they. Oh and yes – lets spend more of the rural tax dollar on tourist trains upon which they cannot afford to travel!

    Rail not just about transport, it is about an investment in the future, in the environment, in the logistic functionality of the nation. About acting as a catalyst for inward business and workplace investment in those rural communities that have at present fewer workplace opportunities. It is a conduit through which people and goods can service and supply not just today’s generation but for our children and their children’s generation wholesomely.

    So the only folk who cannot be trusted is the Board of the SOE as they are the one’s who are incredibly and deliberately pushing anti rural rail policies across both main islands.