CEAC are strongly in support of Government rail funding plan
“CEAC are strongly in support of Government rail funding plan.”
CEAC reviewed the NZTA National Land Transport Programme “2021–24 NLTP development” plan to see the support for rail funding was there, and NZTA is now seen as ‘anti-rail’ in their NLTP plans, contrary to Government policy to use rail - heads must roll.
Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre press release Sunday 15th December 2019.
CEAC reviewed the NZTA National Land Transport Programme “2021–24 NLTP development” plan to see the support for rail funding was there and CEAC is shocked that instead NZTA is setting itself up as a self-styled “Transport Agency” but is only designated “Road controlling authority” (RTA) is now ‘anti-rail’ in NLTP plans contrary to Government policy to use rail, something needs to be done here.
Our position; - We give our full support to Government “moving to fast-track billions in funding for rail investments in a change that is being hailed as historic.”
Government must be highly commended in their support for rail with their latest push to fund rail through the Land transport fund.
NZTA are not showing the same support for rail, and so ‘heads need to roll’ inside NZTA, so Government must sack/reshuffle staff in the NZTA agency now before it decides to build roads ahead of advising Government wrongly that roads go instead of rail here, as that is contrary to Government policy now; - as quote; “The government is moving to fast-track billions in funding for rail investments in a change that is being hailed as historic.”
We are highly critical of NZTA not ever including local communities into the ‘planning’ made under NZTA’s NLTP direction instead of taking Government directives onboard like investing in rail, plus considering the ‘Local community well-being Act’ of 2019.
Perhaps that is why NZTA made so many errors seen here?
A lack of knowledge by the MBIE bureaucrats in Wellington obviously not hearing the community’s views and needs as government is?
A review of this NZTA 4th December 2019 transport document above shows why.
Consider this opening statement; Quote;
“2021–31 Regional Summary Gisborne – Version 1 for engagement
AT A GLANCE Our focus in Gisborne is to help create a safer, more resilient transport system. One that can support a lift in social and economic outcomes for local communities, maintain critical connections to neighbouring regions and enable growth. Our focus is also to help provide appropriate levels of service across networks while increasing use of public transport, walking and cycling.”
Questions; If NZTA wants to “help create a safer, more resilient transport system” then where was rail mentioned here?
• Then on the next page it says “Gisborne is one of the country’s most remote regions and home to 48 000 people”.
If Gisborne is so isolated then isn’t this more reason to provide a safe rail journey?
Next page it says; quote;
• “GISBORNE TOMORROW The population is forecast to reach at 50,000 in 2028,1 with growth heavily focused in Gisborne city. Elsewhere, rural communities are projected to decline.1 If current settlement patterns continue it could increase reliance on private vehicles and make journey times longer”
• They said; “it could increase reliance on private vehicles and make journey times longer”
• We suggest that if no rail service is available to lower truck volumes, that will make road travel more hazardous.
• Next page; more errors here; Quote; “Coastal erosion, sea level rise, flooding, storm intensity is forecast to increase over the next 30 years raising risk to communities and the road and rail network. This will add to existing resilience challenges due to steep-to-hilly country and a large proportion of land that is unstable and susceptible to erosion”.
CEAC makes a correction to NZTA - For your information NZTA we have a partly damaged washout & cut off rail network since 2012.
NZTA you should know as it was you that oversaw it’s closure and who took the $4 million dollars provided to fix the washouts and instead used the funds for a couple of highway 2 passing lanes, that insulted our community by showing this arrogant misuse of rail funding for roads.
Last page; “KEY INSIGHTS” quote;
• “Gisborne’s social and economic opportunities are dependent on connections north to the Bay of Plenty and south to Hawke’s Bay, to support key industries, enable visitors and allow communities to thrive. Providing a safer and more reliable journey is important on these routes, particularly through the Waioeka Gorge. Consideration should also be given as to whether rail freight can support the region’s economy.”
NZTA said; “Consideration should also be given as to whether rail freight can support the region’s economy.”
CEAC are saying;
• if tourism is expanding.
• along with population.
• as well as exports.
• Then we will need rail for all those reasons.
• Most importantly along with our ‘community health and well-being’.
To use Winston Peters words here; “It is just common sense”.