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Government dangerously slow in restoring rail freight

Government is dangerously slow in restoring NZ regional rail freight

This month in February 2019 again we saw National opposition accusing Government for not funding more money for new roads for truck freight, using NZTA support for truck freight, while Ministry of Transport (our real transport agency) has opposing policies to use ‘all modal freight rail/road/sea options’ meanwhile our current state of our efforts to restore the Napier rail line’ to Wairoa ( and later to Gisborne is stalled.)

Facts;

HB section of rail maintenance/upgrades deserves more than a paltry $5 million from Shane Jones RGF for all the HB rail Networks of our rail system that reaches over 350 kms to the south border of Manawatu at Woodville.

Especially when we saw Government (past and present) shell out ‘multi millions’ on other regions such as shown on this list;

1/ Matawatu rail – in December 2018 Shane Jones announces $40 million for a rail freight inland port in Palmerston North.

2/ North Port rail. August 2018. Over 450 Million dollars for rail connection.

2/ Wairarapa rail - in October 2018 43 Million for restoring the line from Masterton to Wellington.

3/ Kaikoura main south rail – PM Jacinda Ardern announces a $40 Million dollar upgrade to tourism/rolling stock/services.

5/ Midland rail Otago $15 million for a limited length of track damaged with bridges in a scrub fire in 2016.

6/ Kaikoura rail south from Picton to Christchurch. $900 million and still more to come.

7/ (The lowest financial contribution given to any province) HB $5 million to repair the Wairoa line (prior to the latest slip at Raupunga caused by a storm in July 2018.

Your government followed blindly behind the last Government ‘National’ after the wellington earthquake that closed the port of wellington freight terminals, and chose to trucking all “Port of Wellington freight to Port of Napier by road.

Government owes the people of HB/Gisborne both export Port regions, a ‘carriage of care and funding mitigation’ because of the increased truck freight impacts and environmental effects placed on our residential communities in HB/Gisborne.

Under the RMA dangerous impacts are now caused by the Government re-routing ‘road freight handling around our NZ ports’ is adversely affecting thousands of residents in these other regions like Napier and Gisborne when Government is sending the Wellington Port freight by road freighted to Port of Napier.

This issue needs to be ‘mitigated’ to the satisfaction of those affected residents,

with noise barriers
residential lower speed levels
with signs warning to drive slow to respect the residential communities,
speed cameras to “calm traffic in residential
noise sensitive zones signs
and smoother road surfacing to lower both noise and tyre dust road pollution measures
all must be given to all Napier residents now facing truck 24/7 freight to Port of Napier.
Mandatory fitting of “Donaldson ‘silent partner’ Muffler systems (many other countries make it mandatory for heavy transport to have if operating through residential regions) such as Napier is. https://www.ryderfleetproducts.com/donaldson-m101181/5-muffler-silent-partner-p-w26-m101181
Tree belts and earth berms where possible.

This Government ‘inherited’ scheme of using road freight moves is now heavily impacting on our communities here in Napier from Wellington, since it is now causing us massive truck gridlock on our roading, causing road damages costing massive road cost repairs.

Labour bought our rail back into public ownership in 2008 and now in Government again rail urgently needs to be repaired to ‘take that freight off the roads’ in line with Government’s stated goal of lowering the transport climate change emissions that the current kiwi rail manager in the article said rail will achieve.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12174329

Quote; KiwiRail chief operations officer Henare Clarke "Taking logs to the port (of Napier) by rail will reduce carbon emissions, take trucks off the road and provide an efficient service for forestry owners."

HB and Gisborne need better government financial investment in rail as other regions are now receiving so why do the people of HB/Gisborne fell ‘disowned’ by the new “inclusive Labour/NZF Government?

The facts show now clearly that ‘a low investment in rail infrastructure’ is on show here from your government and is clearly the reason for our regions on the east coast of NZ are feeling abandoned.

We ask Government to return rail freight and passenger services to our HB/Gisborne regions and invest in rail not more truck roading.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon sent an email to Kiwi rail on June 15TH 2018 asking them to restore rail services to Gisborne and we are still waiting for Government to act, hence we ask for both the Minister of Transport and Regional Development Minister to contact us by email and arrange to meet us about this issue.

ends

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