Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Closure of Gisborne Rail a disaster for the region


October 4th 2012

Closure of Gisborne Rail a disaster for the future of the region.

Roger Dickie spokesman for the Kyoto Forestry Association and promoter of a large number of investment forests in the Gisborne region says that residents of the Gisborne region should be very angry with the National Government and minister Joyce for their shortsighted decision not to support the rail link.

Dickie says that economic and employment growth will be hugely stalled by the loss of the rail line and by association the social infrastructure of the region will be severely impeded. He already knows of one significant business that has canned plans to invest in the Gisborne region because of the forecast and now confirmed closure of the rail line. Unfortunately this will continue to happen and the residents of the region will never even know that they have missed out on future growth says Dickie.

Dickie said his forests are only about 6% of the forests in the entire Gisborne region but perhaps 20% of those forests south and west of Gisborne that would move at least some of their product towards Napier. Mr Dickie estimated that in six to eight years time his company would have between 80 and 120 truck movements per day on the Gisborne-Napier Road. When combined with other forest owners, that could be 500 to 600 movements per day or about one every 1 1/2 minutes during a 12 hour day. A very significant number of these truck movements could easily go by rail.

Dickie pointed out that the efficiency of rail from a fuel and environmental perspective was well known. Proof of the savings it could offer was the railing of logs from Wanganui to Napier (a similar distance to Gisborne -Napier). After allowing for the trucking to railhead costs, rail on the Wanganui-Napier link was $7.00 per tonne cheaper than trucking.

The Gisborne port is the second biggest log export port in New Zealand but unfortunately it is also by far the most expensive port to use in New Zealand having the highest wharfage and log storage charges in New Zealand by a margin of 40%. These exorbitant charges will be costing the region investment and jobs. As well, it is well known that shipping lines only use certain ports in the country and it is necessary for many exporters to move their product to Napier to meet those ships. Future growth of export industries in the Gisborne region will be severely curtailed by the loss of this rail link.

Dickie says if one looks at what has made countries like Germany and USA so dynamic and successful is their fully developed transport infrastructure. The Chinese have a good and significantly developing infrastructure to allow them to move goods and services efficiently around their country.

The building and maintenance of infrastructure is a long term plan that needs central government involvement in a country like New Zealand with low population and isolation in many productive areas such as Gisborne. The National Government have totally abrogated their responsibilities in this regard and it is unfortunate that politicians in this country take a short term view revolving round three yearly election cycles rather than the more mature and developed thinking of successful countries overseas.

Dickie thinks that this is a classic case of the silent majority sitting back and doing nothing because they think the closure of the rail link will not affect them. But everyone in the Gisborne region needs to realise the loss of this important economic link will affect them by way of less jobs for their siblings, less growth in the region and a diminished social infrastructure, not to mention a nightmare trip to drive to Napier unless the trip is made in the middle of the night or weekends.

Dickie has been astonished to find that one major employer in the Gisborne region actively lobbied the Government ministers Brownlee, Carter, Joyce and Hon Anne Tolley supporting the rail closure presumably on the basis that less competition meant cheaper product for their processing facility. As well, there has been discussion on the use of increased vehicle weights and dimensions (IVWD) trucks. These giant rigs will carry about 30% more weight but require upgraded roads, bridges, culverts etc. The congestion situation on SH 2 will hardly be improved by the use of these large units.

Dickie said in summary there are a huge number of reasons why the rail link should be retained and only one (short term operational losses) why it should be closed.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news