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Napier–Wairoa Rail A Win On All Fronts

Hon Meka Whaitiri
Associate Minister of Forestry



6 June 2018

Napier–Wairoa Rail A Win On All Fronts

The first work train in six years on the Napier-Wairoa rail line is a win-win-win milestone for the greater Hawke’s Bay, says Associate Minister for Forestry, Meka Whaitiri.

“The opportunity for rail to enhance our environment and evolve our regional forestry industry has been left abandoned for the last six years,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“Thanks to this Government’s promise to drive the growth of regional New Zealand, that’s no longer the case.

“Following on from the One Billion Trees initiative, the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund is investing in the overdue restoration of this KiwiRail link for logging trains. This link is essential to the future of forestry in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.

“In 2017 forestry and related industries employed around 1,930 people in Hawke’s Bay alone.

“By increasing our ability to get the incoming ‘wall of wood’ to port safely and reliably, we raise job opportunities for the people of Tairāwhiti, 49 per cent of whom are Māori.

“I am proud that rail will help eliminate headlines about lives lost in logging truck-related accidents and make our highways safer for whānau.

“This shift in transport slashes our carbon footprint by 1,292 tonnes a year, significantly helping Kiwis reach our Government’s goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“A stronger primary industries sector, safer roads and a cleaner atmosphere - today’s milestone showcases the success that is possible when Government, local industry and council work together.

“I thank KiwiRail, the Port of Napier, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, and the Provincial Growth Fund for backing the potential of forestry for our regional economy and delivering for the environment of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti,” Meka Whaitiri said.

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