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Port offer deeply offensive


Re: Port not wanted on Cape, September 14 story.

The Crown Infrastructure Partners should invest in our railway line!

The offer of $45 million by Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Regional Economic Development, for a log barging facility on the East Coast is deeply offensive.

It is true that Tairawhiti needs more infrastructure for community and economic resilience and wellbeing, and in planning for a future without diesel we need alternatives to roads. But the Crown Infrastructure Partners' infrastructure fund is for “shovel-ready” projects, and those that have been requested by the local authority or community interests.

The Government spent $600,000 last year on the feasibility study considering reopening the railway line. The study concluded that it is feasible to reinstate the line and there are numerous environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeing advantages in favour of the reinstatement.

The cost to reinstate the railway line, a “shovel-ready” project requested by Gisborne District Council and the community, is $36 million. This cost includes the development of a modern transport hub at Matawhero — and is less than what has been offered for a new log barging facility, which is far from “shovel ready”!

Gillian Ward

Gisborne Rail Action Group

Leave a Reply to Richard Cancel reply

  1. Winston Moreton says:

    It is a pleasure to read well-crafted opinion by a former Federated Farmers chairman publicly taking local respected Maori leaders to task. Their alleged crime? In Mr Harvie’s words, their “selfish poorly-backed response” to a misdirected election bribe. It used to be called pork-barrel politics.

    Alongside Mr Harvie’s contribution we have this letter by GRAG spokeswoman Gillian Ward. Unlike Mr Harvie, she respectfully addresses the Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Development, by his name and title. She respectfully points out the $45 million port proposal is offensive and says why. In short, she makes the point; the much cheaper rail proposal, linking to Wairoa and beyond, is ready to go today! Common sense dictates the benefits of rail supersede Mr Harvie’s sweeping and astonishing claim that a port, somewhere to be determined but north of Gisborne, will provide “long-term economic and social gains for the . . . entire region”.

  2. Richard says:

    Over the years folk have come along from all sectors of society and pronounced transport projects seemingly without any validation that xyz will deliver “longterm economic and social gains for the entire region” with sea going barges being the latest, preceded by the more trucks mantra and even ludicrously, with the humble bicycle on rails. Whatever next – the building of a canal or the preposterous building of a longer second runway to facilitate the iniquitous Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo lifter!

    There’s a rail line on the doorstep. It can be fixed. And only rail can deliver efficiently, effectively and environmentally responsibly freight and passengers to underpin the regions future economic growth aspirations and community wellbeing.

  3. Dave says:

    Gillian, having a railway from Gisborne to Wairoa will not help the wall of wood coming down the Coast. Do we want or need hundreds of trucks a day going to and from the Coast, destroying our roads, disturbing people’s sleep and relaxation?