Strong support from the BOP Regional Transport Committee for Tauranga to Hamilton + Auckland passenger trains
By Lindsey Horne
The Future is Rail presented to the Bay of Plenty regional transport committee on why they should consider investing in a detailed business case for a train that connects Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty to Hamilton and Auckland.
The outcome from the presentation: Strong support from the committee
“I’m keen to push this forward for a detailed business case. For too long we’ve had vague concerns about whether this is possible, whether it could work…we’ve never had a robust business case to properly nail down whether this can work.
So many of our residents are so keen for us to explore this, we hear that in consultations we do.
We need to have a holistic view of rail and what it can bring to climate change, safety, resilience and I’d also add value uplift and value capture particularly for enabling housing so I’m keen that we do something in this space.”
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor, James Denyer
“Kiwirail firmly support the recommendation that’s been put on the table here to proceed to a DBC. It just makes sense to do the planning work…we’re more than happy to assist.”
Angus Hodgson, Kiwirail
“Under standing order we can only flag strong support in the minutes at this point to request that the staff commence an investigation into inter-regional travel for rail in the Bay of Plenty as part of the RLTP”
Councillor Lyall Thurston, Chairperson of the BOP RTC
“I just want to echo some of the good points that have been made by members, the business case process is exactly the right forum to explore both the challenges and opportunities that rail presents to the Bay of Plenty so it is the will of this committee we have almost certainly the will to put an activity into our RLTP and as you know or will hear from staff today we’re about to move into that prioritization process.”
Oliver Haycock, BOP Regional Council Transport Manager
Herries Park and East Coast Main Trunk Railway station in Tauranga. Credit: W. Bulach
Here’s the key reasons why we think it makes sense and access to the full presentation below.
Here is a link to the presentation Future is Rail_Bay of Plenty RTC presentation_August 2023.pdf - Google Drive
* Select committee report in response to the parliamentary inquiry
**Waka Kotahi Sustainable Urban Benchmarking Study
2018 UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
*** Car costs calculated at Inland Revenue’s km rate (which factors in fuel and running costs) for 450km return trip Tauranga to Auckland
Train costs assumed $36 per ticket (double the cost of Te Huia Hamilton to Auckland via their Bee card) x2 (for return trip)
**** Draft Transport GPS
Credit: Anthony Cross