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CEAC "again Labour/greens Allows Economics To Trump Environment."

CEAC “again Labour/Greens allows economics to trump environment.”

Press Release: for 6th April 2020 Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre

Our HB/Gisborne communities had hoped that labour would have committed to their promise of restoring our Gisborne rail since 3rd March 2019, when we sent this press release, “economics trumped environment.” https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1903/S00040/economics-trumped-environment.htm - but nothing has happened since sadly.

Here is the proof of Labour/Greens 2013 broken pledge to restore our Gisborne rail.

“Labour budget for 2019 is focused on our ‘wellbeing’ HB/Gisborne now need regional rail promised to us in 2013 claimed in this 2013 NZ Herald press release by Labour/Greens.”

Labour, Greens pledge to reinstate Gisborne rail line
By Phillipa Webb of the Gisborne Herald
5:31 PM Tuesday Jan 22, 2013
Labour, Greens pledge to reinstate Gisborne rail line

22 Jan, 2013 5:31pm

The Napier-Gisborne rail line.

By: Phillipa Webb of the Gisborne Herald

Labour and the Greens vowed at a public meeting in Gisborne last night that they would reinstate the Gisborne to Napier railway line if they won the 2014 election.

East Coast National MP Anne Tolley's absence from the meeting about the mothballed line was noted, with most of about 100 meeting-goers giving her a vote of no confidence.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn offered no hope for the line and said the ongoing costs of repair and maintenance meant it would not be reopened.

The meeting was held to discuss the release of the recent Berl report - an independent economic analysis of the KiwiRail report that led to a decision to close the line in November.

BERL said there were "serious inconsistencies" in the KiwiRail report and there was a need for a comprehensive cost: benefit analysis of the line - a process that could cost around $500,000 and take up to 12 months.

Gisborne District Mayor Meng Foon said the meeting was an opportunity to gain feedback from the region to take to Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee when they met to discuss the future of the line.

No date for a meeting has been set.

John McLean, from Roger Dickie Forests and the Rail Action Group, questioned the need to close the line from Wairoa to Napier when there were opportunities for forestry in that area to use the line.

Forestry investor Roger Dickie said of the 18 million tonnes of logs they hoped to produce in the next 10-15 years, he saw potential to send 7.5 million tonnes of that south by rail.

Richard Burke from crop grower Leader Brand said they were not given enough time to see how they could grow the use of the line before it was mothballed.

Labour list MP Moana Mackey said the line had to be reinstated now for a cost of $4 million because that was the cheapest it would ever be.

Rail advocates needed to lobby government politicians to "keep the pressure on", she said.

Mr Foon said he appreciated Mr Quinn for "fronting up" to tough questions but at the end of the day Gisborne needed the line.

"We deserve good schools, good hospitals, good roads and good rail."

KiwiRail have been looking to mothball the Gisborne to Napier line for the past decade, saying it is unprofitable.

In March a storm swept through the Whareratas in the Beach Loop area and huge slips, one 100 metres by 100 metres, closed the line.

KiwiRail estimated the line would cost $4.3 million to fix but there was $30m-worth of other maintenance required on the line.

In October the Government finally made its decision to shut the line.

This was quickly followed by a fundraising drive to raise about $15,000 required for an independent economic analysis on the KiwiRail report that closed the line.

This report released last week highlighted inconsistencies and flaws, refuted by KiwiRail.


From The Gisborne Herald

Now our CEAC statement of current situation;

  • Our public concerns;
  • We have had a property in Napier (Pirimai) since 1974.
  • We’ve raised our family there and we’re now into the third generation there.
  • I have been Chairperson of the Pirimai Residents Association and that was when I originally came into the issues here when the Kennedy Road overbridge was built.
  • It was originally designed as a commuter route from Hastings to the Airport, not as a truck route; trucks weren’t even in the picture then because of road freight regulations and most of it went on rail.
  • Since deregulation in 1983 road traffic has increased considerably everywhere and the Expressway is being developed as the heavy traffic route to the Port of Napier because the other areas of Napier didn’t want it.
  • Port traffic has doubled over the last 10 years, and according to your figures it’s 25% in the last 2 years, and is forecast to increase by another 57% by 2028.

Unfortunately, during this time, the focus has become more on economic performance and less on environmental and social wellbeing, and the lack of mitigation will continue to impact on the health, wellbeing and property values of those living alongside.

The Kennedy Road overbridge was built to carry heavy traffic over the top of local roads, which is the opposite to what happens in other parts of the world – they put the heavy traffic on the level, and local roads over the top. Economics trumped environment here, it was the cheaper option.

The Kennedy Road over bridge has only the basic guard rails rather than concrete barriers that are used on the Meeanee Road overbridge and any other bridge we’ve noticed in our travels around this part of the country. Again, “economics trumped environment.”

The expansion of the Port will only increase the problem as no consideration is given to the adverse effects created by the increase of heavy traffic, The Port have basically said that they are responsible for Port noise, but they are not responsible for the traffic going to and from the port.

Any privatisation of the Port will increase the focus on economic performance to the detriment of the environmental and social impacts. Who is minding the gate?

We have made submissions to City Council, Regional Council, Land Transport Committee, NZTA, but no one has the power or the inclination to resolve the issues.

  • Hawkes Bay regional Council motto used to be ‘protecting your environment’, now it is ‘grow Hawkes Bay’.
  • Hawkes Bay Regional Council has to protect the residents and their environment when making its decision.
  • Jacinda ; - We need ‘active consultation to resolve proper mitigation for affected communities for increases in the traffic and noise vibration and pollution issues.
  • to find solutions for residents health and wellbeing.
  • so please arrange as Helen Clark did in 2001 to get your Minister of Transport to communicate with us,
  • After almost no response from him has occurred after the 28 emails we sent to Phil Twyford as your Minister of Transport since 2017.
  • Then when the Covid 19 lockdown is removed arrange for him to come to Napier/Gisborne to consult actively with us as PM Helen Clark had arranged for us back in 2001.

“Action speaks louder than words.”

Janet Crispin
Treasurer of Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre. (CEAC)

© Scoop Media

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