Napier – Gisborne Rail Update

Thursday March 12, 2015

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chairman Fenton Wilson says he’s hugely disappointed the council hasn’t been given an extension of time to investigate the possibility of leasing the Napier to Gisborne Rail corridor.

KiwiRail has today written to HBRC declining its request for more time in which to confirm its interest in leasing the Napier-Gisborne rail line.

The line was mothballed in December 2012, after storms earlier in the year caused severe damage, which is expected to cost close to $4 million to repair. Council commissioned a business case late last year on whether leasing the line was a good investment for the Council and the region.

Fenton Wilson thanked KiwiRail for the opportunity to consider the lease of the Napier to Gisborne rail line, recognising the importance of the security of that corridor to the region.

He acknowledged the work and passion of the Napier Gisborne Rail Group personnel, who he says will be extremely disappointed with this decision.

He says the council strongly supports KiwiRail’s intent to keep the line mothballed at this time rather than fully close it in order to provide for potential freight increases. Mr Wilson says this aligns with HBRC’s objective of retaining options for access into and out of the northern part of our region.

Media contact

Fenton Wilson, HBRC Chairman | P 027 4984 483

Liz Lambert, HBRC Interim Chief Executive | 027 428 5618

Helen Shea, Communications Specialist | P 06 833 8085, 027 662 5953

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