Mayor Comments On Ferries Decision - Marlborough District Council
Marlborough Mayor Nadine Taylor said she is shocked and disappointed by the news that KiwiRail is cancelling the inter-island ferries project, iReX.
She said while the decision will not directly impact Marlborough’s ratepayers financially it will have an impact on New Zealand’s long term inter-island infrastructure.
“This will come as a particular shock to the Picton community who are most directly affected by this decision. The town has been very engaged in the new ferries project and have been a great supporter of it.”
“A large number of workers had been expected to work on the iReX project over the coming years.”
“I want to emphasize to Kiwis and overseas travellers that Picton is open for business. The Interislander and Bluebridge ferries are working as normal across Cook Strait.”
“I would like to sit down with the new Government and talk through what the future looks like for our inter-island infrastructure. There is no doubt that we need to invest in this national transport connection for the long term. The question now is how and when we will do that.”
The Mayor said Port Marlborough, which is wholly owned by Marlborough District Council, has robust agreements in place with KiwiRail that require the completion of early works at the port of Picton and the reinstatement of any affected assets.