1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister of Transport Simon Bridges
Enlist the Interislander in the earthquake recovery effort!
Ask Kiwirail to get an emergency freight and passenger shipping route in place from Wellington to Lyttelton as quickly as is possible.
Why is this important?
Following Monday morning's massive earthquake NZ's most important transport link - the primary route between the North and South Island for freight of all kinds has been critically damaged.
In Parliament yesterday and in an interview this morning on Radio NZ's morning report Simon Bridges said he was actively considering the idea of establishing a shipping route to Christchurch. But it appears he has not yet been convinced its a critically important decision that needs to be made quickly.
Bridges appears to be is prevaricating and talking about competition issues with the "unsung heroes" of NZ's tiny existing coastal shipping industry. He also mentioned international coastal shipping options. However none of these can be in place quickly and something is needed right now.
It doesn't take rocket science to deduce SH7, one lane in some places, narrow, goes over high passes is not a replacement for SH1. The North/South Wellington-Christchurch coastal route is one of the most important transport route in NZ with both a highway and very busy rail-freight route.
It appears likely that it will take many months for the route to be operational - and even longer before the fixes have been completed - there is massive uncertainty about how long because the area it travels through is presently suffering the most intense earthquake aftershock sequence in living memory.
If trucking is routed over SH7 the road will become a choke point - running through the middle of an very active aftershock zone. In order to ensure that Wellington-Christchurch shipping is up and running in a timely fashion - decisive action is needed now.
The Government even owns a shipping company. So price gouging is not a risk. And if other competitors join Kiwirail on the route the risk of price gouging by disaster capitalists will be avoided.
In addition in this case there really is no alternative. Sooner or later this ferry route will be established - but the sooner that it is the less economic damage will be done to the entire South Island.
Agreeing to get the ferry route up and running using NZ's most loved transportation provider will also be a great way to signal that the Government is providing the decisive leadership that NZ needs in this troubling time. It will help boost everybody's confidence.
It really is a no brainer.
Kiwirail is keen but someone needs to push the go button to get this up and running as quickly as possible.
NZ Herald - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11748947&ref=nzhbiz_tw
Stuff - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/86464161/kiwirail-looking-at-ferry-service-from-wellington-to-lyttelton
Stuff - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/86429807/trucking-companies-at-a-standstill
How it will be delivered