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PGF/BERL report confirms rail is essential to East Coast

Subject; “PGF/BERL report confirms rail is essential to our East coast region”


The just released PGF/BERL rail viability report was the most comprehensive analysis of the rail transport option conducted since the Gisborne rail line closed in 2012.

The PGF/BERL feasibility report is strongly favourable of restoring rail services in the report released today, so our community request Gisborne Council must support it.


Because the 100 page BERL study outlines many reasons; https://berl.co.nz/research/reconnecting-gisborne

Most importantly for focusing on the ‘community wellbeing’ approach outlined in the four categories covered in the ‘Local Government wellbeing act,’ as the purpose of Local government is to consider; social, cultural, economic and environmental tenants.

• Security of rail transport is essential to ensure our region’s economic growth for several reasons now confirmed in the report.

• Choice of transport modality is important to export and industry activities as choice of transport drives down transport cost due to competition.

• Cost of road maintenance and fatalities is also reduced by using rail.

• Lower climate change emissions is a big benefit when rail is used.

• Our community health and wellbeing in our whole community is enhanced using rail as a safe transport mode.

• Our export products will be labelled as a ‘lower carbon footprint’ product, attracting higher producer profit from higher prices received globally.


• Winston Peters "Rail makes a vital contribution to urban public transport. Moving more freight by rail is economically efficient, and reduces carbon emissions as well as deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

• Transport Minister Phil Twyford says funding in this year's Budget is just the first step to rebuilding rail as the backbone of a sustainable 21st century transport network, with a long-term national rail plan to be developed this year.”


• Page 25; Recommendations -101

• (1) The Ministers recommend that you note that rail contributes to the national and regional economic growth and reduces emissions and congestion, reduces road deaths and injuries, facilitates wider social benefits and provides resilience and connection between communities.

• (2) that you note the findings of the future of rail which recommend investment for resilient and reliable to rehabilitate heavy rail network and Kiwi rails freight and ferry business which is critical to ensure that rail is sufficiently resourced to deliver the benefits outlined in recommendation (1).

The PGF/BERL report is very welcome to the Gisborne people of Tairawhiti, who have the right to know finally the truth of the importance of rail to our community’s health and wellbeing.

We all support the reopening of the rail line. as BERL’s report now confirms that it is viable.

To show our support for rail In a Gisborne Herald press rail poll conducted last April showed 85% of those polled wanted rail services for freight and passenger services returned to Gisborne, and that is significant.

We are confident the new PGF/BERL 'Gisborne rail viability study' will finally be adopted and used to supporting the re-opening of the Gisborne rail service again after seven long anxious years of suffering.

Why do we believe this?

Our past history will now reveal why?

The new BERL report was not "a whitewash" as our past Gisborne Councillor Manu Caddie called the failed 2014 MBIE/NZTA rail feasibility study was.

We clearly saw that the NZTA/MBIE “whitewash study” was manufactured by Steven Joyce as an excuse to close rail as part of his policy of eventually closing down all regional rail services as he favoured the roads more than rail as a partnership.

Steven Joyce was nicknamed “The tarmac king” for obvious reasons and his ghost around parliament still lingered long after he left government.

Until a brave champion of the provinces and his boss (Shane Jones and Winston Peters) stuck up for rail in our provinces again.

So now due to these gentlemen’s support this time the new 2019 'BERL Gisborne rail viability study' will finally include;

• the vitally essential rail evidence from the Government's own (Principal Advisor of all transport modes) called the 'Ministry of Transport'

• With many rail viability reports contained as their references inside the BERL report.

• These were not included in 2014 by MBIE/NZTA “whitewashed” study that factually & deliberately omitted those important government documented studies from that last 2014 'botched whitewashed cherry picked 'National Party' Gisborne rail report that MBIE/NZTA produced.

URGENT; Government needs to properly commit more funding of our ‘Ministry of Transport’ so they can adequately embark on ‘new rail studies’ for our future security now also.

In 2014 the “ghost of Steven Joyce” that deliberately botched that last rail viability report was a savage blow then against the hoped restoration of our Gisborne rail, and in turn severely injured the hopes and aspirations of all in our Gisborne communities for the last five years.

Fact. Media wrongly call NZTA “The Transport agency”

• NZTA is not "the transport agency"

• NZTA is only a "road controlling agency" referred to as an (RCA) and NZTA should never again be used as a "rail advisory agency" - as it only deals with promoting new regional roads for trucks and definitely not for rail freight, as it regards roading as its only focus' so it was a mistake to use NZTA for an 'advisor' for rail in the first place.. .

• This 2014 rail report was a 'phoney report' full of omissions of evidence that would have supported rail, and was designed only to silence the Mayors of HB/Gisborne during their efforts to collectively go directly to Parliament in 2013 with a Public Gisborne petition signed by 10480 community members requesting Government to repair the Gisborne rail service.

• The last National Government in 2014 was caught off guard with the over welling public show of support for the rail service that that they 'hastily cobbled together this phoney' "Gisborne Economic viability study" that was hollowed out with a thinly veiled view that it may support the need to restore their rail service but with not enough evidence to save the rail then, and we got stymied after the Mayors deputation to Wellington to meet with the then Minister of transport Steven Joyce and his sidekick Gerry Brownlee at their office.

• The Mayors of HB and Gisborne were in fact given a big rat to shallow on that very day, and were given nothing but false promises to produce a "Gisborne rail viability study" instead of a real promise to reopen the rail line in 2014.


Simon Bridges Gisborne press release September 2019.


“You’ve been one of the lucky few with roading investments, which nearly always move the dial.’’

Speaking about the feasibility study suggesting the Wairoa-Gisborne rail line could have a freight future, Mr Bridges said his issue was whether the funding would have greater effect in Tairawhiti if spent elsewhere.

National ‘‘would like to consider” having a water infrastructure fund directed at the productive sector and people living in Gisborne city.”


Result from Simon Bridges press from National = (Ghost of Steven Joyce) + no rail.


Never again should we ever trust the National Government when it comes to supporting Gisborne or HB over protecting our rights to have a rail service to our eastern provinces as it seems that ‘National are diametrically opposed to having a well-balanced rail service to our remote regions in every sense of those words’.

CEAC–PGF Rail report confirms rail is essential to our East coast region.


Thank you Coalition Government for giving Gisborne/HB hope again for returning our rail service to us all.

© Scoop Media

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