Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


CEAC Calls National’s Transport Anti-rail Policy Cruel To All Regions

The 2020 National party policy for transport is to use truck freight not rail, and already signalled only “more roads” which is dangerous, reckless, and will bankrupt NZ and ruin our future, costing taxpayers billions.

Our case in point;

  • Why fund restoration of regional rail equally to roads?

When in 2001 we met ‘Tony Friedlander’ the former (RTF) ‘Road Transport Forum’ chief at the HB Regional Land Transport Meeting, in 2001, he said he wanted a ‘dedicated double laned road for trucks only’ - to fix the problem of truck gridlocked roads then.

Now that will cost would be estimated to be at least $200 Billion dollars, according to figures found here.

https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2017/08/01/escalating-costs-building-roads/ without any consideration for possible resulting iwi claims to perpetual access charges for rights of use costs added.

Perhaps the cheaper way is to shift 50% of the freight back to rail and fund rail equally to roads?

This is a plea to the Transport Select Committee, - we urge you back this ‘Rail Legislation amendment Bill’ both to get the regional rail operating and especially the Gisborne rail line re-opened please as the whole East Coast is asking for this now.

We will request this at the ‘Transport Select Committee’, during their consideration of changes, give regard to our concerns of how dangerous the roads are for us all with truck gridlock now, regarding the ‘Rail legislation amendment bill’.

We fully support Minister of Transport Phil Twyford’s move to make funding for rail an equal recipient to road funding.

This is long overdue, so well-done Phil Twyford and Winston Peters.

Our community along with our local leaders including our new Mayor of Gisborne District Rehette Stoltz are all now requesting for rail services to be restored for our community’s own health, safety and social wellbeing since the PGF funded BERL report come out in December justifying rail services be restored to Gisborne for our community wellbeing.


  • Proof of our strong support for Gisborne rail’; we provide the latest NZ Herald poll results showing 86% want Gisborne rail freight and passenger services restored. http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/local-news/20200222/whopping-86pc-favour-restoring-gisborne-rail-link/
  • We are placing our own Provincial Transport hazards and public health issues without any rail services, now before the government; why you must support the Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill to increase rail funding to improve rail services to our export rich region and other regions.

History; Before the last election in 2017 we watched the first leaders debate on TV One between Jacinda Ardern & Bill English National’s last PM.

The debate never actually tackled the thorny issues of transport issues we all face deficits from in our East Coast regions without rail.

Our Community concerns at national’s lack of rail for the deficiencies we all face in our regions of HB/Gisborne since the National Party had assumed the mantle of governance over our regions and lives during the nine years of hell.

When the National Party took over in November 2008 the former Labour lead Government had just bought back the rail system from Toll Rail, an Australian Company and had set aside a track Maintenance Company called Ontrack who were given a $200 Million reserve account to rely on to keep the rail line in service, for the new Kiwirail operator to run their services.

National’s new Minister of Transport Steven Joyce somehow reorganised the Kiwirail Company and folded the On Track rail line Maintenance Company up and the $200 million somehow disappeared.

Since 2009 we had witnessed three events of large rail washouts on the rail line between Gisborne and Central HB.

  • First the washout around Otane in Central HB.
  • Later the larger washout at Beach Loop near Mahia Northern HB/Gisborne.
  • Third event was in 2018 was a medium sized washout near Kotemaori in HB.
  • The $200 million Labour finance minister Michael Cullen had setup for the ‘Ontrack’ - track maintenance was to deal with these washouts, as we have seen many other washouts around NZ rail have been repaired since.

Someone in Labour now before the 2020 election must ask the National opposition leader Simon Bridges (who was then Minister of transport) “where was our share of that $200 million Ontrack was given to repair the rail washouts at Beach Loop, Otane, and Kotemaori so our rail to Gisborne is finally repaired after being left closed since March 2012?”

FACT; We now have witnessed that this ‘mess’ was left for the new Labour coalition Government to find that lost $200 Million that was robbed from our Public Rail Company ‘Ontrack’ account?

We met with the Napier National Party candidate David Elliott before the last election in 2017 about the disastrous HB/Gisborne “truck Gridlocked roads” causing immense noise, vibrations and air pollution in our local regions especially around the Napier residential areas near the HB Expressway, as we are now confirming that our continuous cameras count over 2400 truck movements are counted every day that travel on the expressway to the Port of Napier & other areas each day since the rail was cut from the slips in 2012.

We had asked for the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to visit Napier and meet our Community Committee and inspect the issues we faced then and worse now, but after three attempts to ask for Simon Bridges to attend a meeting here with his own National Party candidate David Elliott he has declined.

Gladly National candidate David Elliot did agree to come and meet residents in west Napier near the HB Expressway, to see the truck gridlock in the residential communities of west Napier, and he responded verbally stated to us that he saw an issue of no adequate mitigation given to us to cope with the heavy truck noise vibrations and air pollution emitted from the high truck volumes going to the Port of Napier, as he saw adequately given to the residents of Hong Kong where he spent some time.

I expect Mr Bridges during 2020 knows what a mess he & his Government’s transport policy is in since there is no support for restoring regional rail, that is previous administration had left for us to live with.

During the last election we watched PM Bill English during the run up to election day in 2017, and then in his first Leaders debate on TV, he was often talking about his Government actively going around the country meeting all those business folks, such as the seafood workers, and truck drivers, to see what issues they wanted to see, we felt somewhat disappointed as every letter request we sent for a meeting with him was declined.

So was Simon Bridges lack of a meeting given, as he was the Minister of Transport then and our issue was seeking his support for regional rail which was declined.

How could our Committee have tried any harder to work directly with the National Party to meet with our Community Committee in Napier or Gisborne then?

So, we need to support this Labour coalition Government to get a fair hearing and support for rail services in our regions.

National can’t criticise us for not trying to work with them can they as we tried?

We need to set the record straight for voters to decide in 2020 who supports rail.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels