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Report says container port, restoration of rail can boost growth

Report says container port, restoration of rail can boost growth

A Deloitte report says investing in rail could be more commercially viable if Eastland Port had container port facilities. NZPA file picture

The lack of a container port in Gisborne is costing the region $36 million a year and potentially hindering the return of the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line, a report from a top finance firm says.

The second edition of Deloitte’s Shaping Our Slice of Heaven report, entitled Regions of Opportunity, assesses the economic impact of increasing exports in tourism, agribusiness, food processing and advanced manufacturing from Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Wellington and Canterbury from 2019 to 2040.

The report says Gisborne is in a prime position to take advantage of growth industries and highlights the expansion of Eastland Port and the restoration of rail as aspects that can boost the region further.

“Gisborne needs increased connectivity to flourish,” the report states.

“While the Wairoa-Napier rail line has been reopened and road upgrades between Wairoa and Gisborne have been promised, extending the operating rail line up to Gisborne would increase trade efficiency going south from Gisborne.

“Minister Shane Jones has indicated that funding may also be provided to reopen the Wairoa to Gisborne portion of the rail line, subject to support from KiwiRail.

“Investing in rail may be made more commercially viable if Eastland Port, which currently cannot accept containers, receives resource consent for expansion. A lack of container port facilities in Gisborne is estimated to cost the region $36 million per annum in additional transport costs.”

Eastland Port’s twin berth development — a multi-million dollar construction plan that includes asset repairs and maintenance, and growth and expansion projects, allowing for greater log handling and containerisation — is awaiting the go-ahead.

'Gisborne needs increased connectivity to flourish'

“The developments will create a modern, sustainable and well-connected port for the East Coast region now and into the future,” Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum said.

“Eastland Port is setting a new course for the future. We need to meet the needs of all types of cargo, not just logs.

“Getting product to market quickly, efficiently and safely via coastal shipping is critical for local economic growth and productivity.

“Facilities we’ve had in the past will not be sufficient to meet the requirements of industry in years to come.”

Mr Gaddum said the port was playing its role in the region’s kiwifruit industry, helping export over 3247 tonnes of kiwifruit on three ships in the year to March 31.

Four ships are due next year and five in 2021.

“Local squash companies have told us they also see a future in container shipments for the 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of squash they currently export from Gisborne in timber crates.

“Coastal shipping links and the availability of container handling capabilities are important for this region’s future.

“The port has submitted resource consent applications related to the twin berth development to ensure it can continue to provide vital links to a world that is hungry for the region’s primary produce.

“There is demand to send containerised local meat, apples and wood products — all of which is leaving our region to other ports via road at present.

The Provincial Growth Fund is investing up to $600,000 for a feasibility study into using the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line for a tourism venture.

A PGF spokesman said contract negotiations had been completed and they were preparing to proceed to an executed funding agreement.

Central government is also working with stakeholders in the region on a separate feasibility study on reopening the line.

Shaping our Slice of Heaven’s lead author Linda Mead said regional-focused economic development would not be enough to realise the report’s predictions for growth in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay “without deliberate consideration of how the regions link together, and where each region’s competitive advantage lies”.

“New Zealand already has a well-developed national narrative about what makes its goods and services unique on the world stage.

“We propose there is further value to be unlocked by telling the ‘within New Zealand story’ that lies beneath.

“Meaningful development of this narrative will require more coordination between central and local government than presently exists.”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager economic development Steve Breen said that was already happening here.

As well as setting out the priority growth areas of the regional economy and the projects delivering transformational economic growth, the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan provides the platform for regional coordination and cooperation — including with government — with Activate Tairawhiti as facilitator.

“The TEAP approach has already seen significant regional benefit delivered and support provided via the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund including the airport terminal upgrade, Navigations project, waka hourua, Tupapa, roading infrastructure, wood processing and water management.”

Activate Tairawhiti tourism general manager Adam Hughes said there was certainly potential to grow the tourism industry and this was already happening.

“Tairawhiti’s tourism industry accounts for approximately $167m and is growing on average by 14 percent month-on-month.”

Deloitte is a multinational professional services network which focuses on audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy, performance improvements, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensics and accounting services.

The lack of a container port in Gisborne is costing the region $36 million a year and potentially hindering the return of the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line, a report from a top finance firm says.

The second edition of Deloitte’s Shaping Our Slice of Heaven report, entitled Regions of Opportunity, assesses the economic impact of increasing exports in tourism, agribusiness, food processing and advanced manufacturing from Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Wellington and Canterbury from 2019 to 2040.

The report says Gisborne is in a prime position to take advantage of growth industries and highlights the expansion of Eastland Port and the restoration of rail as aspects that can boost the region further.

“Gisborne needs increased connectivity to flourish,” the report states.

“While the Wairoa-Napier rail line has been reopened and road upgrades between Wairoa and Gisborne have been promised, extending the operating rail line up to Gisborne would increase trade efficiency going south from Gisborne.

“Minister Shane Jones has indicated that funding may also be provided to reopen the Wairoa to Gisborne portion of the rail line, subject to support from KiwiRail.

“Investing in rail may be made more commercially viable if Eastland Port, which currently cannot accept containers, receives resource consent for expansion. A lack of container port facilities in Gisborne is estimated to cost the region $36 million per annum in additional transport costs.”

Eastland Port’s twin berth development — a multi-million dollar construction plan that includes asset repairs and maintenance, and growth and expansion projects, allowing for greater log handling and containerisation — is awaiting the go-ahead.

'Gisborne needs increased connectivity to flourish'

“The developments will create a modern, sustainable and well-connected port for the East Coast region now and into the future,” Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum said.

“Eastland Port is setting a new course for the future. We need to meet the needs of all types of cargo, not just logs.

“Getting product to market quickly, efficiently and safely via coastal shipping is critical for local economic growth and productivity.

“Facilities we’ve had in the past will not be sufficient to meet the requirements of industry in years to come.”

Mr Gaddum said the port was playing its role in the region’s kiwifruit industry, helping export over 3247 tonnes of kiwifruit on three ships in the year to March 31.

Four ships are due next year and five in 2021.

“Local squash companies have told us they also see a future in container shipments for the 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of squash they currently export from Gisborne in timber crates.

“Coastal shipping links and the availability of container handling capabilities are important for this region’s future.

“The port has submitted resource consent applications related to the twin berth development to ensure it can continue to provide vital links to a world that is hungry for the region’s primary produce.

“There is demand to send containerised local meat, apples and wood products — all of which is leaving our region to other ports via road at present.

The Provincial Growth Fund is investing up to $600,000 for a feasibility study into using the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line for a tourism venture.

A PGF spokesman said contract negotiations had been completed and they were preparing to proceed to an executed funding agreement.

Central government is also working with stakeholders in the region on a separate feasibility study on reopening the line.

Shaping our Slice of Heaven’s lead author Linda Mead said regional-focused economic development would not be enough to realise the report’s predictions for growth in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay “without deliberate consideration of how the regions link together, and where each region’s competitive advantage lies”.

“New Zealand already has a well-developed national narrative about what makes its goods and services unique on the world stage.

“We propose there is further value to be unlocked by telling the ‘within New Zealand story’ that lies beneath.

“Meaningful development of this narrative will require more coordination between central and local government than presently exists.”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager economic development Steve Breen said that was already happening here.

As well as setting out the priority growth areas of the regional economy and the projects delivering transformational economic growth, the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan provides the platform for regional coordination and cooperation — including with government — with Activate Tairawhiti as facilitator.

“The TEAP approach has already seen significant regional benefit delivered and support provided via the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund including the airport terminal upgrade, Navigations project, waka hourua, Tupapa, roading infrastructure, wood processing and water management.”

Activate Tairawhiti tourism general manager Adam Hughes said there was certainly potential to grow the tourism industry and this was already happening.

“Tairawhiti’s tourism industry accounts for approximately $167m and is growing on average by 14 percent month-on-month.”

Deloitte is a multinational professional services network which focuses on audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy, performance improvements, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensics and accounting services.

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