Moving goods and people safely, affordably and responsively is a core responsibility of the Council - with inter-agency support. Without sustainable transport links our economy and well-being will suffer.
Shaping our transportation network wisely will underpin success in Tairāwhiti.
The evidence - what do we already know?
» Largest local road network in New Zealand relative to its population (48,000) and ratepayer base.
» Local urban roads - 229 km
» Local rural roads - 1,624 km » State Highways - 331 km (SH 2 and SH 35) » The road network is susceptible to surface flooding, landslides and weather degradation.
» We have two main roads into the region: SH2 from Wairoa; and SH35 to Bay of Plenty via Waioeka Gorge. Both are vulnerable to road closure from slips.
» In 2016 there were 40 road closures due to flooding and landslides.
» Following the Queens Birthday storms in 2018, 630km of local roads and 29km of State Highway were closed.
» Road maintenance costs have increased in line with the intensification of heavy vehicles on the roads due to the surge in regional forestry activities.
» Coastal roads vulnerable to erosion and flooding include:
> Makorori Road
> the access to Waihau Bay
> Kaiaua Beach
> the access to Nuhiti Beach from Anaura Bay
> Waima, Tokomaru Bay
> beach roads at Waipiro Bay
> the East Cape Road
» Central Government has approved a total investment of $369 million for the Tairāwhiti roading network.
» Gizzy Bus service: two buses operating over six routes.
» Steady decline in Gizzy Bus patronage since 2012/13 and a steady increase in school bus patronage.
» Cycling within the Gisborne District represents 3.3% of total commuter share.
» Council’s Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP) will build a spine of protected cycleway routes designed to separate riders from motor vehicles.
» Fourteen schools have implemented the Bikes in Schools programme (the highest number in New Zealand)
» The Palmerston North-Gisborne Line provides a railway connection between Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay region and the North Island Main Trunk railway in Palmerston North.
» The line was closed in 2012 following several large washouts north of Wairoa resulting in significant damage to rail infrastructure.
» In early 2018 KiwiRail announced the reopening of the line between Wairoa and Napier following support from the Regional Infrastructure Growth fund.
» Up to $600k is currently available to undertake a feasibility study for re-opening the Gisborne to Wairoa section.
Sea and air
» Gisborne Airport is located 4.2 km from the city centre. The runway is night capable and 1,300m long.
» 20,066 take-offs and landings at Gisborne airport during the year to March 2018, up from 15,494 the year before.
» 170,993 passenger movements during the year to March 2018, up from 156,146 the year before.
» The Government committed $5.5 million in the redevelopment of Gisborne Airport. Total development cost: $12.5m. Remainder to be co-funded by Eastland Group Ltd and the Eastland Community Trust.
» Eastland Port is located 800m from the city centre. It is New Zealand’s second largest log exporter and the most easterly commercial shipping port in New Zealand.
» Forestry is the main user of the Port. Raw logs represent 99% of trade out of the port by volume.
» Eastland Port exported over 3,000,000 tons of logs, kiwifruit and squash during the 2017/18 financial year, equating to over 100,000 full truck movements. With growing volumes of logs, kiwifruit and apples from the region this volume will top between 4.5 and 5 million tons by 2025.
» Eastland Port is committing $70m to a port expansion to increase berthing capacity.
» 11 cruise ship visits to Gisborne in 2016-17 added $3million to gross domestic product.
The challenges and opportunities
Challenges - if we do nothing
» The roading network will become increasingly degraded and costly to repair and maintain.
» Road closures and maintenance costs will increase for both local roads and State Highways.
» The safety of the road network will decline – leading to more likelihood of accidents.
» Heavy vehicles will continue to dominate our roads, rather than seeing an increase in other forms of transport.
» The airport may be hemmed in by the City and unable to grow.
» Uncertainty around the future and role of rail.
» The effects of climate change will continue to impact on our transportation network.
Cycling and walking
> the Poverty Bay Flats
> the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme
> pathway from Midway Surf Club to Waipaoa River mouth
> a regional cycle and walking trail network
> improved access across the CBD
» Restore and maintain the condition of State Highway 35 to support safe and efficient travel along the East Coast.
» Promote an East Coast journey that expands upon the Tairāwhiti Navigations Programme to boost regional tourism. This includes enhancing key destinations, township development, signage and other design elements to form a coherent regional experience that will enhance the visitor experience and increase visitor numbers.
Sea and rail
> northern barge berth to reduce road freight in favour of coastal transport
> a northern port to support coastal shipping
> rail to take a proportion of logging freight
> rail tourism
» Investigate and build alternative routes for sections of the road network that are more vulnerable to coastal hazards and erosion.
» We know that the movement of logging trucks through our communities to the Port is a major challenge. How can this be made more sustainable/less impactful on our roads?
» Should we consider:
> an alternative Port location?
> use of rail?
> a northern port ?
> a heavy vehicle bypass for Gisborne city?
» Should Tairawhiti consider a wider regional walking / cycle trail network?
» Where could new walking and cycling trails be located?
» How can we increase walking and cycling access through the CBD?
I am also supportive of investigating all options for reducing conflict between logging trucks, safety and lifestyle.