16 Feb 2013

LeaderBrand says report good if Govt genuine

8:46 pm on 16 February 2013

The head of a Gisborne-based produce company says a new economic and transport study for the East Coast could be a step forward if the Government is genuine.

Announcing the study on Thursday, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said it would be a broad investigation of the economic potential of the Tairawhiti Region - encompassing Gisborne and Hawke's Bay - over the next 30 years, and the transport infrastructure needed to support it.

In reference to the Napier-Gisborne railway line, which was damaged in slips last year and subsequently mothballed, Mr Brownlee said the Government wants to plan for the decades ahead rather than confront issues on an ad-hoc basis.

Richard Burke, general manager of the LeaderBrand horticultural company, hopes it's not just a delaying tactic to keep regional New Zealand quiet.

He says he hopes the Government is serious about looking at the issue fully and frankly and making good decisions based on that.

Mr Burke says if the Government wants to meet its economic growth targets it needs to be providing transport infrastructure to the regions.

He says a decent report should demonstrate the need for good infrastructure in Gisborne and the best option would have been to push the railway line from Gisborne through to Tauranga.

Gisborne mayor Meng Foon describes the report as a step in the right direction.

Mr Foon says both the Labour and Green Parties have indicated they will get the railway back on line should they be elected to govenrment.