Opportunist Labour ignores their own history

It is always fascinating to see the opportunists of left lining up behind the BERL Report which claims the Napier-Gisborne Rail Line ‘might’ one day break-even – fingers crossed.

Labour is trying to re-write history with its opportunist politicking on this issue.

“This is an economic lifeline we cannot afford to lose and the Government should intervene.”

But the facts are that this line’s been in jeopardy since before 2001 and Labour didn’t want a bar of it.

“Tranz Rail announced that it was looking at closing the Napier-Gisborne line. Anderton raised the possibility of renationalisation but was rebuffed by the PM, Helen Clark, who said that the Government could not afford it.”

The argument never went away, and in 2006 Trevor Mallard said a Labour Government would not subsidise the rail line but ‘let it die’

“Acting Finance Minister Trevor Mallard on Tuesday dismissed the funding request, saying that letting the service die would make it more likely a new train would get up and running, not the reverse.”

Labour’s even said recently that it wouldn’t promise to re-open the line.

“They can’t commit to reopening something when they don’t know how much it would cost.”

And by the way, Labour’s new slogan that this line is an economic ‘lifeline’ is debunked in this 2004 report by the Hastings District Council:

“When put in  the context of total daily HGV movements of 16,476 Rail’s current contribution of 90 equivalent truck movements does indeed appear to be insignificant.”

In that same 2004 report, Government subsidies were justified by the vague hope of growth in the future.

•  Gisborne (this  is limited to a  weekly service carrying 22,000 tonnes per  year of mainly inbound fertiliser traffic. However, there is considerable scope for future traffic growth on this section of the line mainly from future harvesting of exotic forests. This is expected to restore traffic  in the medium term back to historic service levels of one train per day in each  direction. In the meantime government support is being sought to retain this section of the line until the expected forestry growth materializes). Despite this activity, Rail movements in and out of the region, not necessarily related to the Port, are relatively low.

 The more things change the more they stay the same.

KiwiRail should just get on and mothball the line, and the Government should just get on and fix the roads.

Labour and their green taliban enablers should be told to shut up.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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