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Bold vision required

Opinion Piece

I note with interest those who write about the railway line to Gisborne and I am disappointed with comments made by Merv Goodley. We are promoting the reinstatement of rail to Gisborne for the long haul and do not expect a quick fix that will not allow large future tonnage on the line — to cover all exports and imports into and out of a province that is growing every year and has long since relied on sheep, wool and cattle.

We need the Government to have a vision for the future of Gisborne and farming, including horticulture, manufacturing and not forgetting tourism with our fantastic climate.

Rather than see huge amounts of the country’s funds spent on improving the road to Napier, let this money be directed to having the railway line rerouted if necessary, away from these troubled areas, and made permanently stable.

I am sure our engineers would be able to plan and have something stable built in this age. After all, from Napier to Wairoa we already have very good infrastructure in place and so too for most of the line between Gisborne and Wairoa.

This way we could see heavy truck numbers reduce on the roads and allow the NZ Transport Agency to be able to maintain these roads, including to Opotiki, in a better and safer condition.

With the population now starting to rise in this area, and the expansion of our goods and services, now is the time to improve our infrastructure to be able to cope in the future — without clogging our inward/outward roading network, which is over difficult terrain.

We need to think big and have a bold vision for our future expansion. After all, compared with many other parts of NZ, we have some real benefits in our beautiful, productive province.

Robert Scott, Hamilton