Labour MP’s Whaitiri, Nash ‘delighted’ at decision to lease rail line

Source: Gisborne Herald – Thurs 27th November 2014

KiwiRail’s decision to allow the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) to lease the Napier to Gisborne rail line is welcomed

by Labour’s East Coast Members of Parliament Meka Whaitiri and Stuart Nash.

Mrs Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, said world-class transport infrastructure was vitally important to attracting industry to

the region.

“If we are ever going to provide jobs and opportunities to our people up and down the Coast, then we need to attract the

type of industry that processes raw commodities like logs and foodstuffs.

“These are the type of industries that need reliable access to a containerised export port.”

Tauranga was 400 kilometres and the Port of Napier 200km from Gisborne.  Reopening the line is a long term commitment

to the region and makes sound economic sense.”

Reopening the rail line was something she and Mr Nash, the MP for Napier, campaigned hard on during this year’s General

Election.

A significant number of people within the region understood the economic proposition that rail brought to the district.

“We are delighted by this decision and are both confident the HBRC will end up being the saviour of this important piece of

regional infrastructure,” said Mrs Whaitiri.

Mr Nash said leasing the line to HBRC, was an innovative approach to an issue, which had polarised the East Coast.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to now take control of our own future. If the HBRC, can make it work, then this is a

fantastic outcome for those who understand the value proposition that rail provides.”

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