Rt Hon Winston Peters
Thursday, October 6, 2016 – 14:15
KiwiRail’s plan to re-open the Napier-Wairoa rail line shows the National government’s desire to run down rail is wrong, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“KiwiRail has succumbed to pressure, and with Napier Port will restore the line but it’s a job half-done, now KiwiRail must go to the next stage and reactivate the line between Wairoa and Eastland Port at Gisborne.
“The government must make this achievable.
“It has been known for a long time that huge volumes of logs will have to be taken out of Wairoa and that if the rail lines were not in use, this would present major problems on East Coast roads. Like all provincial roads they are under strain from lack of funding.
“Washouts through flooding were just used as an excuse to mothball the Napier-Wairoa line and the Wairoa-Gisborne line. The closures are just more examples of the National Party perverting sound provincial economics.
“The very idea we can transport any cargo by road, in the volumes necessary, just shows how out of touch the National Government is.
“Work will now have to be done to upgrade the Napier-Wairoa line which would not have been necessary had sanity prevailed and it had been kept in use.
“The agreement to reactivate the line is still dependant on Napier Port approving KiwiRail’s predicted cost to restore the line.
“It’s the government’s blunder in allowing mothballing of the whole line and Transport Minister Simon Bridges should step in with the resources to re-open it,” says Mr Peters.