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Time to hear rail plan from Govt

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Our correspondent today calling for the Gisborne-Napier rail line to be reconnected is right to lament nearly six years of missed opportunities, and to seek clarity from the Government over the future of this regional asset.

The feeling we have been “jerked around” will be shared by many, but with different protagonists and opportunities in mind. Blame can be attributed widely, but the lack of progress in any direction boils down to rail restoration, or a move to alternative use/s of the rail corridor, being highly contentious . . . and the key decision, of whether this region should be serviced by rail, ultimately being one for central government.

Under National-led governments the answer was “no” because it and state rail operator KiwiRail could not see a viable business case, just a need for continuing subsidy.

That position met ongoing and passionate advocacy for the line to be reopened. Apart from in 2012 after its closure following storm damage, however, this effort has had limited support from regional leaders. So we have tortuously got to the position........

© The Gisborne Herald