Plans by a Gisborne lobby group to seek an expert independent economic analysis of the KiwiRail report used to justify the Gisborne-Napier railway line have had a boost with nearly $8,000 being raised over the weekend.

Gisborne Rail Action Group member and District Councillor Manu Caddie said the response has been overwhelming. The group hopes to raise at least $10,000 to pay for independent economic analysis of the business case for the line.

“This is not just a Gisborne issue, we have had some huge donations from all over the country, many New Zealanders are as angry about this decision as us locals.”

The group has released its initial assessment of the KiwiRail report and says that even if conservative freight figures are used the future for the line looks secure.

“Based on this initial analysis we are keen to get independent experts to have a close look at the KiwiRail figures and also an engineering second opinion on some of the claims made in the KiwiRail report.”

“Of course there are also wider economic impacts that KiwiRail should consider as a State Owned Enterprise such as the loss of tourism and the potentially much higher costs of freight should the rail not be available and it would have been good to see some of those included as well” said Mr Caddie.

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DOWNLOADS: Initial Comments on KiwiRail Report (PDF) + Appendix (PDF)

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