JOINT RELEASE FROM HAWKE'S BAY REGIONAL COUNCIL, KIWIRAIL AND NAPIER PORT
A $5 million dollar financial investment from the Government to reopen the Wairoa-Napier rail line has been welcomed by the three parties who have been in discussions to get the line up and running again for several years.
The Government has today announced it will provide $5 million dollars from its Provincial Growth Fund to repair the line to allow a low-speed forestry service to operate between Wairoa and Napier.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, KiwiRail and Napier Port have been discussing the reinstatement of the mothballed line for several years.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Alan Dick, who is chairman of the Regional Transport Committee, has been involved in the negotiations to reopen the line since the beginning and says he’s extremely pleased to see the line reopen.
“An effective partnership between the Council, Napier Port, and KiwiRail, which has involved a lot of discussions, has led to this fantastic outcome,” says Councillor Dick.
“The re-opening of the line will provide road safety benefits by minimising the number of logging trucks on this difficult and fragile highway, environmental benefits with rail a smaller generator of carbon and finally it will provide opportunity for significant economic and social benefits for northern Hawke’s Bay.”
KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says this announcement is good news for the region and good news for New Zealand.
“It’s a vote of confidence in our customers and our staff,” says Mr Reidy.
“Moving logs by rail takes pressure off the roads, and reduces greenhouse gases. The Wairoa-Napier road is not designed to cope with the growing volumes of logs now that the ‘Wall of Wood” is coming on stream and rail is the ideal way of getting that timber to overseas customers.”
Napier Port is also pleased with the announcement today; with CEO Todd Dawson saying, it is good to see strong government support for the regions.
“We’re supportive of efficient and sustainable transport links across the region, and it’s great to see this level of investment in Hawke’s Bay,” says Mr Dawson.
“We’re very pleased that KiwiRail and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have been able to secure government funding for the reinstatement of the line, and that exporters will soon have an alternative means of getting their logs to port.”
The three parties are working together to ensure that the introduction of additional funding achieves the Government’s regional growth and network resilience aspirations.
23 February 2018
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