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Line well known, as are resilient-repair benefits

Letter

Re: It's a rebuild, not repairs, March 30 letter.

Merv, your offer of guiding people along the rail line is unnecessary. The line is well known and understood in detail by many people — mana whenua, freight logistics experts, rail operators, rail engineers, historians, economists, horticulturalists, etc. Your opinions regarding repair, rebuild, costs, etc, are also unnecessary.

The 2019 BERL report “Turanga ki Wairoa Rail – Feasibility study into reinstatement of rail line” is easily accessible to all: https://berl.co.nz/our-mahi/reconnecting-gisborne. It is easy to read, and I recommend that you do read it.

In financing this study, the Government required the questions regarding geological/engineering repair solutions, feasibility, benefits, costs, and social and cultural wellbeing, to be answered. The answers have been provided by the most qualified and experienced people in Aotearoa. In addition, the Climate Change Commission's draft report notes that more freight and people movements should be by rail.

The benefits to be gained by repairing and reinstating the rail line are clear — what is needed now is a decision from the Government to invest in a resilient repair of this rail line.

Gillian Ward (Chair, Gisborne Rail Action Group)

  1. Richard says:

    Unfortunately all studies so far on the viability of the line excluded any examination of the revenue contribution the restoration of passenger rail service may possibly contribute to that question.

    The omission of this fundamental in the remit of the Minister’s decision making basis, and the fact that this was not challenged by both KiwiRail and Berl indicate to me that they were not the best organisations to conduct such a determination of the line’s viability. And precisely why an unbiased offshore specialist transport agency would be the more responsible choice.

    Indeed even the GRAG do not seem to recognise that passenger services should be considered. I cannot in memory identify anywhere globally that a study of a rail line’s sustainability was even examined without both the inclusion of freight and passenger services.

  2. Winston Moreton says:

    I agree with May Ruby. The benefits of Rail versus the huge cost of the Port rebuild are obvious.