Eyes on our infrastructure

LETTER

Having seven or eight ships anchored in the Bay for some time because of port closures, due to unusual offshore weather, has been an interesting discussion point.

This is not only challenging our port’s ability to get these ships in to load them, then back out, it also impacts all the way back to the forests. I understand there are significant quantities of logs now stockpiled out at the forest skid sites awaiting transport to storage facilities at the port and Matawhero that are near capacity. Logging truck operators and their drivers will also be very frustrated not knowing when this is going to settle back to normal.

The second berth planned for the port will mean a quicker turnaround of all vessels, which would alleviate any similar, future situation such as that being experienced now.

Developments continue on a major scale in and around our port. As well as the twin berth plans there are ongoing discussions around containerisation, which will increase use of the port and provide more options for businesses wanting to move products to market.

Berl representatives have also been engaging within our community carrying out an independent, government-funded feasibility study re our rail line’s potential — with the latest catchword being “wellness”.

Interviewed recently on this very subject by a Berl economist, there was a strong line of questioning around our rail line’s future, with questions leaning mostly towards its tourism potential.

The GHL heavy traffic bypass feasibility report has finally made it to the council, however The Gisborne Herald noted what appeared to be limited interest, along with a negative response from one councillor.

This document is the start of a discussion around a long-term heavy traffic strategy for Tairawhiti. I hope it does not get shelved and forgotten about.

Along with other transport issues, we certainly do need to consider the longer term “wellness” of all aspects of our community; heavy vehicle movements into, across and around our region are one factor in this.

Terry Sheldrake, Chamber of Commerce CEO

Having seven or eight ships anchored in the Bay for some time because of port closures, due to unusual offshore weather, has been an interesting discussion point.

This is not only challenging our port’s ability to get these ships in to load them, then back out, it also impacts all the way back to the forests. I understand there are significant quantities of logs now stockpiled out at the forest skid sites awaiting transport to storage facilities at the port and Matawhero that are near capacity. Logging truck operators and their drivers will also be very frustrated not knowing when this is going to settle back to normal.

The second berth planned for the port will mean a quicker turnaround of all vessels, which would alleviate any similar, future situation such as that being experienced now.

Developments continue on a major scale in and around our port. As well as the twin berth plans there are ongoing discussions around containerisation, which will increase use of the port and provide more options for businesses wanting to move products to market.

Berl representatives have also been engaging within our community carrying out an independent, government-funded feasibility study re our rail line’s potential — with the latest catchword being “wellness”.

Interviewed recently on this very subject by a Berl economist, there was a strong line of questioning around our rail line’s future, with questions leaning mostly towards its tourism potential.

The GHL heavy traffic bypass feasibility report has finally made it to the council, however The Gisborne Herald noted what appeared to be limited interest, along with a negative response from one councillor.

This document is the start of a discussion around a long-term heavy traffic strategy for Tairawhiti. I hope it does not get shelved and forgotten about.

Along with other transport issues, we certainly do need to consider the longer term “wellness” of all aspects of our community; heavy vehicle movements into, across and around our region are one factor in this.

Terry Sheldrake, Chamber of Commerce CEO

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Phil Hunt, Picton - 13 days ago
We have just been through Solway (south of Masterton) where KiwiRail has just added extra wagons to its log trains going to the Port of Wellington. This will take 6000 logging trucks a year off the Rimutaka Hill road.
On our trip north we continued on to the Bay of Plenty via the Napier-Gisborne (SH2) road and through the Waioeka Gorge. We saw lots of trucks, the bulk of which were loaded or empty loggers. The road was in the worst condition we have seen it in for years, so even with the late-model car we were using we had to dodge potholes all the way!
It is a no-brainer to rail logs from the Gisborne district to the Port of Napier. This will NOT impact greatly on the Gisborne economy as the trees will still be sold and the trucks will take the logs to the rail-head.
Then the port of Gisborne can focus on improving the berths to allow larger cruise ships to tie up. At the moment you lose several cruise ship opportunities a year because of the weather. In the future more of the bigger ships being able to berth will increase your ability to accept more such visits. At the same time the redevelopment of the area will allow the port to increase the size of the marina and there will be ample room to park boat trailers, which has been a serious problem for years.
As an add-on, in the future more tourists trains will be able to use the line, and normal outgoing freight can be handled as well.

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