Huge 75 percent in favour of rail study funding

Source: Gisborne herald May 26 2018.

Belief in rail was so adamant for 21 percent, they did not believe a feasibility study was required.

AN overwhelming majority of Herald webpoll respondents — 75 percent of them — believe the district should apply to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to financially support a feasibility study for reinstatement of the rail line to Gisborne.

Most of the 310 respondents in favour expressed their support because of a strong belief in rail.

But of the 82 respondents, or 21 percent, who said no to the PGF, many said “no” because their belief in rail was so adamant that they did not believe a feasibility study was required.

Pro-feasibility study comments included:

• “Not just needed for transport, particularly of logs, but for tourism. The rail line needs to go further than Muriwai for the scenic route so we can keep attracting cruise ships to Gisborne.”

• “We need the rail. It is only common sense.”

• “The rail option is a no- brainer. The road is getting ruined by trucks and rail is a more environmentally-friendly transport mode. Let’s make our roads safer and reduce truck journeys and carbon emissions.”

• “It is about time for Gisborne to re-join the New Zealand rail network, with the benefits of exporting the horticulture produce as well as the benefit of having tourist trains once again visit the area.”

• “The Napier to Gisborne line has absolute untapped tourist potential. Look what happened in Dunedin.”

• “Perhaps Gisborne District Council could shock the voter majority by listening to it on this issue. This asset must be saved before ‘‘mothballing’’ leaves our rail link a decaying ruin. For a fraction of the cost of highway maintenance, the government can fix what it broke and give this province another artery.”

Other comments in favour were brief and to the point:

• “Nothing to lose.”

• “No brainer.”

• “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

There were 82 respondents who said “no”, some for economic sustainability reasons.

• “This is patently obviously a dead duck and not viable when all the pro-rail arguments involve “manufacturing’’ the economics.

• “The rail line will never make any money, in fact it will lose a huge amount of money. Use rail from Dunstan Road to the port for logs. Use the track out to Whareratas for tourists on the steam train. Turn the old railway into a world-class cycle trail and bring in more tourists.”

• “Fix the roads first please.”

• “Please do not waste ratepayers’ money, we have been down this road before.”

But many, “no” respondents still strongly believe in the rail line.

• “Do not need a study. It is already in place, albeit needing minor bridge work.”

• “Just get on with it. Repair the line.”

• “It is good investment for Gisborne city.”

There were 16 other respondents, or 4 percent, who said they did not know.


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