24 Jan 2013

Doubt seen about Govt commitment to regions

12:52 pm on 24 January 2013

A fresh produce company in Gisborne says the Government's reluctance to front up for discussions on the Gisborne-Napier railway line raises doubts about its commitment to regional New Zealand.

Leader Brand Produce is one of those challenging the decision to mothball the line after it was damaged in slips north of Wairoa last year.

Debate about the future of the service resurfaced after a review by the BERL, an economic consultancy, questioned some of the figures used by KiwiRail to justify its decision.

Leader Brand wants the line repaired and reopened so it can rail squash and other produce to Napier for export.

But general manager Richard Burke said attempts to have further discussions with the Government have fallen on stony ground so far.