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IwiRail Policy gets thumbs up but NZ First are opportunists

IwiRail Policy gets thumbs up but NZ First are opportunists say Gisborne Rail advocates

The Gisborne rail coalition is describing the IwiRail regional development policy launched by the Maori Party yesterday as a "the best plan in town" that is winning the hearts and minds of local rail campaigners.

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring rail back to Gisborne for over two years and this is the first plan we’ve seen that has the potential to unleash the economic potential of the regions.

As proponents of rail, we have always said that every job in rail creates another job in a complementary industry. It’s good to see that that message is finally getting through thanks to the efforts of our community campaigners.

The Maori Economy is now worth 50bn and there are a number of Incorporations and Iwi will be see investment in “above the line” rail assets as an opportunity to generate thousands of sorely needed jobs.

The Gisborne rail coalition is prepared to work with KiwiRail experts and international experts to move regional rail ahead. We have a business case that illustrates that bringing back the Gisborne – Napier rail line will be a profitable move for the region.

With unemployment at a national high in our area, we are endorsing the Maori Party plan and we will also ensure that these international experts are on hand to make IwiRail a success.

We also believe we could work with the Green Party.

It is no surprise that New Zealand First is going against the plan. It is well known that they are anti-Maori development and are also xenophobic and inspire divisive commentary on any positive Maori initiative.

The only locomotive fossil in the room is Mr Jones whose poor attempt to make it back to Parliamentary politics is “highly unlikely.”

Mr Jones has already become the “elephant” in the party machinery of New Zealand First who have achieved very little for rail since being in opposition for almost a decade.

They’ve built no roads, they’ve built no rail and we will be ready to educate Mr Jones when he gets to Gisborne. New Zealand First are full of promises to the regions but can’t deliver because they are not team players. It is highly unlikely that they will be at the table of the next Government nor will they have any bargaining power to bring rail back to the reigons.

The Gisborne rail coalition believe the IwiRail plan is not ambitious and have looked over the economics of the plan.

The plan is sound and only represents 12% of the country's average yearly transport budget. If its done right, IwiRail will outperform KiwiRail in a number of areas because it has the x-factor: it's made for local people.

We have seen New Zealand’s First plan which lacks both inspiration and the big thinking that will change the fortunes of rail in New Zealand. At the end of the day, Mr Jones has run out of all options both career wise and politically.

Mr Jones is a well-known opportunist and full of nothing but hot air. He is already becoming a divisive force in politics and everyone knows that there’s only one leader in New Zealand First – and that’s Winston.

We say let Winston do the talking. We’re always happy to talk with Mr Peters. As for Mr Jones, he needs to get to the back of the class and do his homework. It is clear that he hasn’t even read the IwiRail policy.

END

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