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Strategy

Save the North Auckland Line  ( including the Dargaville Branch )
Strategy


Kia ora !    30th of April 2011

The following is a draft based on the template developed by the RAG ( Rail Action Group ) in Gisborne.
Please read through and send suggestions for changes or additions to thewayforward2011@gmail.com or to Viv Shepherd:  vivshepherd@clear.net.nz

Save the North Auckland Railway
Campaign Plan


VERSION: Draft 1

STATUS: Confidential

ACCESS: Save Our Railway group in Whangarei. Moea, Alan, Dean, Aaron, James, Vince, Colin, Rick, Monique, Gordon and Karl
RAG Members in Gisborne, Richard Sceats (Napier), Campaign for Better Transport, Alan Preston (Northland Rail Campaign), James Belamy (Whangarei)

CONTENTS:
I. Campaign Goals
II. Lay of the Land
III. Proposed Tactics for Campaign
IV. Action Plan: Timeline, Resources & Responsibilities

I. Campaign Goals


Overall Goal: Retention of operation and maintenance of the Napier-Gisborne railway

Policy goals:
 commitment to keep the rail open and maintained
commitment to encourage freight and tourism business on the line

Organisational Goals:
Build up our group’s reputation and influence
 Expand partnerships and alliances in community—more business, political and civic organisations actively committed to rail retention and use
Refine campaign infrastructure – more volunteers taking more leadership roles


II. Lay of the Land
Kiwirail has announced the line will be 'mothballed' by the end of 2012 if the business case for it does not improve.
 The government has a policy of rail being fully user-pays other than an injection of $200million to assist Kiwirail with its business plan to become fully self-sufficient.
While the government says it is committed to an integrated transport network, transport policy is fragmented and funding for rail does not compete with funding for roads or coastal shipping.
Roads receive an additional 1.5billion in taxpayers money so Road User Charges and Excise Tax do not cover the costs of maintaining the roads.
Freight on the rail line was very healthy until Whangarei's port was moved from near town out to the new NorthPort facilities at Marsden Point .
Privatisation saw the railways run down in general with most inter-regional freight switching to trucks.
 Freight volumes have been slowly increasing on the line over the past two years but Kiwirail seems to have made a half-hearted effort to secure more business for this line.

Who are the decision makers?
 The Minister of Transport has the responsibility for deciding how transport modes will be resourced, if at all.
 The CEO of Kiwirail has responsibility for getting the company to return a profit to the government, its single shareholder.
Regional Transport Committees set regional transport strategies and priorities, these however are subject to available funding from central and local government. 
Minister Steven Joyce: (add in his position statements)
Jim Quinn, CEO, Kiwirail: (add in his position statements)
Hawkes Bay Regional Transport Committee: (add in their position statements and plans)
Gisborne Regional Transport Committee: (add in their position statements and plans)

Confirmed Allies:

Aaron  District Councillor
Bay of Islands  Vintage Rail Society
Labour Party leadership including local MPs
Green Party leadership including list MPs
Transition Towns Whangarei , Kerikeri, Kaiwaka, Mangawhai,
Northland Chamber of Commerce
 local businesses:
Hawkes Bay Chamber of Commerce
Steam Inc. & Mainline
The Northland Advocate ?
Campaign for Better Transport
other regional rail lobby groups ( Gisborne-Napier Rail Action Group , Hawkes Bay Rail Action Group, Stratford Okahukura Line , FRONZ , RMTU
.

Potential Allies:
Grey Power
Aged Concern
Iwi 
Te Uri O Hau @ Te Hana: Te Ao Marama
Maungatoroto Diary Factory


Confirmed Opponents (who may somehow be turned around!):
trucking lobby
 some truck drivers

Potential Opponents:
more truck drivers
people living close to railway lines/yards

Strength/assets from community:

ex Railway Workers and RMTU workers.
People who live along the line.
volunteers willing to help with event organising, research, fundraising, etc.
environmental lobbyists
tourism operators
businesses want cheaper, cleaner transport
value placed on heritage and sentimental feelings for romance of rail
union support and value placed on lives lost constructing the line
existing users (tourism and freight)
potential users (tourism, commuters, freight)
rising cost of fuel
 

Weaknesses in Community:
general apathy toward the issue (or other priorities) amongst general public
physical distance between Gisborne, Wairoa and Napier – and other regional rail action groups in relation to campaign planning, meetings, etc.
mixed messages from Chamber of Commerce and some local politicians

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

III.    Proposed Tactics for Campaign
Tactic # 1: Develop campaign materials. Tactics include:
 develop campaign message, slogan and determine best messengers
 one-pager: brief, 1-page fact sheet on the situation and what people can do
 petition
 postcards?
 Volunteer/donation cards: Should include name, email, work phone, home phone, address and donation amount (if any)
 Power point: Slideshow about the situation, what has been done and what can be done
 visibility tools: Buttons, bumper stickers or lawn signs
 website: maintained regularly with campaign updates


Tactic # 2: Build a national coalition around the threatened railway lines:
 Make contact with leaders of other rail campaign groups, organise coalition meetings and strategise for joint action and a national campaign.
 See media tactic on announcing our coalition and specific activities.

Tactic # 3: Conduct grassroots outreach to raise visibility and recruit new supporters. Tasks include:
 Petition/postcard signing at flea markets and Farmers Markets
 Research: Research each decision maker and determine who can influence them.
 Recruit: Recruit supporters that we know can influence each decision-maker.
 Meet: Set up meetings with Mps, Kiwirail CEO and influential supporters each month.
 Deliver petitions (see media tactic).
 More public meetings on the issue
 BBQ/family events/fundraisers

Tactic # 4: Get local MPs and candidates come out publicly in support of the rail 
 plan a roster of individuals and groups meeting with MPs and candidates until and even after they publicly support retention and development of the line
 see media tactic.

Tactic # 5: Get good media coverage of campaign. Tasks include:
 Send news release and do follow up calls to reporters announcing formation of coalition
 hold news conference announcing winners of open space photo contest.
 Send news advisory and do follow up calls to invite media to BBQ
 Send news release and do follow up calls day before meetings with MPs, etc.
 Invite media to petition delivery meeting
 Meet with editorial board of local papers
 Submit op-ed pieces to local and national dailies by various groups and individuals



IV. Action Plan: Timeline, Resources & Responsibilities

Tactic    Person Responsible    Resources Required (incl. people, information, funds, etc.)     Deadline    Other Notes
               
               
    
====================================================================================

NORTH AUCKLAND LINE FACT SHEET
Compiled by -------------------------------------  with input from the Campaign for Better Transport. August 2010.

TRANSPORT SUBSIDIES
 Roading is far more heavily subsidised than rail. 
The Ministry of Transport did a study in 2005 (currently being updated), which concluded that trucks only meet 56% of their costs while motorists pay 64%, buses pay 68% and rail 77%.
 Roading is NOT self funding through user charges. The shortfall is $1.5 billion per year for state highways, plus ratepayers fund local roads.  That shortfall, made up by taxpayers, is already several times what is proposed to be spent on the rail operation and is far from the only taxpayer subsidy given to roads.
 The government is planning to spend $21 billion on roads, local road networks are also heavily subsidised through local authority rates (about another $1 billion a year). 
There are the greater "externalities" of road transport that should also be factored in: road trauma ($3.5 billion), health problems caused by air pollution, noise, loss of amenity, severance of communities and damage to the environment (including greenhouse gas emissions, which have increased by more than 70 per cent since 1990). 
The cost of maintaining roads (excluding state highways) in the Northland region alone is $ .............. (incl. ratepayers contribution of $........M).
The government will happily sink $NZ 1,600,000,000 into the Puhoi-Wellsford motorway extension even though it only has a cost benefit ratio of 0.6
 So if the government will take a gamble with that, why not invest in setting up a successful freight, destination & heritage tourism & general passenger transport rail service for the region? 
Investing $ -------- million on the line would provide the Northland region with a line with higher increased speeds for trains.
That includes some work on .............. tunnels (KiwiRail mentioned cost of around $ ------------) to allow Hi Cube containers to be moved on rail instead of road (the trucking lobby will be worried about this).

RAIL FREIGHT
 Currently the line has ......... freight train(s) a week, sometimes (   )
 Projected operating/renewal costs of North Auckland line are in order around $................... a year - in 2004-05 revenue for the line  was $ .............
In 2008-09 that dropped to under $400,000. Last year revenue was up to $586,719. Volumes declined steeply after 2003, but have been growing in the last year.
Kiwirail has identified opportunities to get volumes from existing clients to three times more than in 2003.


To Be edited......
If volumes grow to potential it should cover projected renewal/operating costs.
  Hikurangi Forest Farms new mill may generate enough product to fill 200 wagons a week and other exporters are also interested in the option of rail if it is competitively priced so there could be more than one ‘anchor’ client and the line shouldn’t depend just on HFF.
 The train speed between these two cities is the same as trucks (and often better due to poor weather, ice and washouts on the state highway).
        A key limitation of line is the gradient – individual locomotives limited to 480 tonnes btw Muriwai and Eskdale.
       A report to government by John Bolland states that generally the marginal costs of road freight are 3-4 times greater than rail.
       Price is not everything -- rail requires better network connections/frequency/reliability to compete with road,
 One train can carry the equivalent of 280 trucks or more. While road vehicle efficiency stagnated over the past 30 years, trains fuel efficiency has increased 104%.

PASSENGER RAIL
 It is the most scenic route in the North Island as the line runs along the East Coast, high on cliffs for much of the trip.
 There is current demand for Gisborne-Napier passenger services and a number of bus services run between Gisborne-Napier (with trains going onwards to Palmerston North and Wellington) there really is no reason why passenger services could not be re-started.
 Passenger rail demand on some lines has increased over 50% in the past 12 months according to Kiwirail figures.
 Next year Tranz Scenic will have a number of spare large window carriages as new rolling stock arrives for the South Island long distance services).
 Passenger rail has many advantages over buses – the scenery is far better (that’s why the Tranz Alpine train contributed to the end of bus services between Christchurch & Greymouth); on-train buffet car, toilet facilities, larger seats and tables for working while travelling, larger windows and open air viewing platforms; rail line has been less susceptible to closures/washouts than the highway.
 A daily passenger train could also be used to haul some freight wagons (as the Northerner did until the 1990’s, and many trains do overseas) – this would mean more freight options for Gisborne clients.
 Gisborne can benefit in more ways by keeping the rail line open and running better freight services. The passenger services will be the cream on the top to bring the region forward to more tourists, both domestically and internationally. Perhaps even Hawkes Bay airport would benefit with future airlines connecting from Australia, then passengers taking the scenic train service to Gisborne? The Tranz Alpine service was once almost about to close until one entrepreneurial staff member at NZ Railways came up with a tourist train. 20 years later it carries the most passengers out of all long distance trains! The same could be done on the Gis-Napier line thanks to its scenic opportunities.
 The Dunedin City Council owned Tairei Gorge Railway, based on a scenic branch line out of Dunedin which was threatened with closure in 1990. It is now a highly popular and successful operation.

POLITICAL INTERESTS & THE TRUCK LOBBY
 Anne Tolley received a personal campaign donation of $5,000 from the trucking lobby group Road Transport Forum. 
 The National government is committed to support the trucking industry which is one of the Party’s biggest campaign donors. 

EMPLOYMENT
 A number of local roading contractors will lose their jobs shortly . Having the rail line functional again would mean immediate and long term maintenance and logistics jobs for the region.

==============================================================================================================

                GISBORNE-NAPIER RAILWAY FACT SHEET
Compiled by Transition Tairawhiti

TRANSPORT SUBSIDIES
 Roading is far more heavily subsidised than rail.  Trucks only meet 56% of their costs while motorists pay 64%, buses pay 68% and rail 77%.  Roading is NOT self funding through user charges. The shortfall is about $1.5 billion per year. 
 The government is planning to spend $21 billion on roads, local road networks are also heavily subsidised through local authority rates (about another $1 billion a year). 
 "Externalities" of road transport should also be factored in: road trauma ($3.5 billion), health problems caused by air pollution, noise, loss of amenity, severance of communities and damage to the environment (including greenhouse gas emissions, which have increased by more than 70 per cent since 1990). 
 The government has just spent over $30million straightening a short piece of the Napier-Gisborne highway which will result in a net travelling time gain of less than one minute over a 3 hour journey time.

RAIL FREIGHT
 Currently the line has two freight trains a week, this is more than last year.
 Projected operating/renewal costs of Nap-Gis line are in order around $2m a year - in 2004-05 revenue for the line (including beyond Napier-Gisborne) was $ 1.2m. In 2008-09 that dropped to under $400,000. Last year revenue was up to $586,719. Volumes declined steeply after 2003, but have been growing in the last year.
 Until Tranzrail killed off wagon loads out of Gisborne (1999-2001), the line previously had two return freight trains a day and one a day in weekends. 
 When it is built, Hikurangi Forest Farms new mill will generate enough product to fill 200 wagons a week and other exporters are also interested in the option of rail if it is competitively priced so there could be more than one ‘anchor’ client and the line shouldn’t depend just on HFF.
 The train speed between these two cities is the same as trucks (and often better due to poor weather, ice and washouts on the state highway).
 A report to government by John Bolland states that generally the marginal costs of road freight are 3-4 times greater than rail.
 One train can carry the equivalent of 280 trucks or more. While road vehicle efficiency stagnated over the past 30 years, trains fuel efficiency has increased 104%.

PASSENGER RAIL
 It is the most scenic route in the North Island as the line runs along the East Coast, high on cliffs for much of the trip.
 There is a growing demand for Gisborne-Napier passenger services and a number of bus services run between Gisborne-Napier (with trains going onwards to Palmerston North and Wellington) there really is no reason why passenger services could not be re-started.
 Passenger rail demand on some lines has increased over 50% in the past 18 months according to Kiwirail figures.
 This year Tranz Scenic will have a number of spare large window carriages as new rolling stock arrives for the South Island long distance services).
 Passenger rail has many advantages over buses – the scenery is far better (that’s why the Tranz Alpine train contributed to the end of bus services between Christchurch & Greymouth); on-train buffet car, toilet facilities, larger seats and tables for working while travelling, larger windows and open air viewing platforms; rail line has been less susceptible to closures/washouts than the highway.
 A daily passenger train could also be used to haul some freight wagons (as the Northerner did until the 1990’s, and many trains do overseas) – this would mean more freight options for Gisborne clients.
 The Tranz Alpine service was once almost about to close until one entrepreneurial staff member at NZ Railways came up with a tourist train. 20 years later it carries the most passengers out of all long distance trains! The same could be done on the Gis-Napier line thanks to its scenic opportunities.
 The Dunedin City Council owned Tairei Gorge Railway, based on a scenic branch line out of Dunedin which was threatened with closure in 1990. It is now a highly popular and successful operation.

POLITICAL INTERESTS & THE TRUCK LOBBY
 Anne Tolley received a personal campaign donation of $5,000 from the trucking lobby group Road Transport Forum. 
 The National government is committed to support the trucking industry which is one of the Party’s biggest campaign donors. 

EMPLOYMENT
 A number of local roading contractors will lose their jobs shortly .
Having the rail line functional again would mean immediate and long term maintenance and logistics jobs for the region.

======================================================================================================================

Minutes of the Rail Action Group Meeting, 7th April, 4.00pm, held in the Committee Room, GDC

Present:  Liz Graham, David Hall, Bob Hughes, Manu Caddie, Darryl Monteith, May Ruby, Gillie Ward, Ron Elder, John McLean, Marg (briefly), Sophie Rishworth (Gisborne Herald Reporter)

Apologies: Gareth Hughes, Moana Mackey, Jon Reeves, Ken Crispin, Peter Brough, Gavin McLean, Barry Palmer, Murray Palmer

Draft Campaign Plan: Excellent! Well done Manu.
Suggestion to expand policy goals to include general passenger travel.
Ron commented that the Eastland Community Trust (who own Eastland Infrastructure) should have a vision for rail being complementary to the Port. They should have a policy to not make decisions which would threaten the existence of rail, and when Trust members are appointed, Councilors should ensure that Trust members understand this.
Gisborne District Council Councilors have been identified as a “weakness” in our community, so there is scope for lobbying and talking with Councilors.

Presentation of Petition: Gareth Hughes suggested by phone that we need an MP to sponsor it and he would be willing to be that MP. We could hold two presentation events – one in Gisborne with him to receive the petition, and local Gisborne Herald publicity, and another timed to coincide with Darryl Monteith’s visit to Wellington on 5th May, where the petition could be presented by Gareth and Darryl to John Key or Steven Joyce. Gareth and the other politicians will be there that day, a Thursday, and Parliament will be sitting. The Petition could be tabled in the House that day.
Dave suggested that the Petition could travel to Plimmerton on the Mainline Steam train which is scheduled to arrive in Gisborne on 23rd April, and leave to return to Plimmerton on 24th April. The Petition could potentially collect another 400 signatures on its way, and be collected by Gareth from the train to deliver to Parliament.

Postcard Campaign: After some discussion and with Gareth’s advice it was agreed that a brief postcard letter would most effectively be addressed to John Key. Darryl suggested leaving postcards in motel/hotel rooms in Gisborne for visitors to send. Part of the message could be - “in Gisborne, love it, wish I could have come here by rail!”  Gillie will research possible photos, text (based on Petition wording) and cost of printing 2000 – 5000, then send a draft to Manu for him to work on.  Can we get this done by 28th April?

Mainline Steam stream train overnight visit 23rd – 24th April : Dave Hall will be at the Station, and the WA165 will be running over the Easter Weekend. Liz will find out the ETA of the visiting tourist train. We should have petition forms there, and banners.

Richard Skeats has organised a Rail Meeting to be held in Napier on Thursday evening 28th April. Meng Foon will go there with Manu, and Ron and Lesley will be in Napier and may be able to attend as well. Liz will ask Richard whether the Wairoa Mayor has been invited. Wairoa District Council is very supportive of the railway line remaining operating.

At the Gisborne District Council Meeting on Thursday 31st March a position statement on the Napier – Gisbo


 rne Railway, prepared by Lindsay McKenzie (Chief Executive) was discussed. The report was prepared after the Council received the RAG’s Petition. There was a general agreement that the GDC supports the rail, but nothing firm was resolved. Meng supports the rail staying open. Gillie will write a letter to Lindsay to ask for a response from the GDC to the request in the Petition that local government produce a plan to see the Gisborne – Napier railway maintained and developed for the benefit of residents, businesses and the environment.


Rail Action Group Bank Account: It was decided to leave the question of opening a bank account until we have a quote for the postcards, and some finance to put towards this campaign.

Regional Transport Committee Meeting, 19th May: Manu advises that it is likely that there will be an opportunity at the end for questions from the floor. Liz read out a letter that Kiwi Rail (Jim Quinn) wrote to Richard Skeats on March 10th. In the letter Kiwi Rail recognize the wider social, economic and environmental concerns regarding the use of the railway line. Ron suggested a question to put to Kiwi Rail on May 19th could be regarding the expected profit margin on the rail operation – what is the profit margin, and could this be foregone so that Kiwi Rail “break even” rather than make a profit, in an effort to retain the rail operation on the Napier – Gisborne line?

The Federation of Rail Organisations New Zealand will be holding their annual conference at Shantytown, Greymouth from 3rd-6th of June 2011. Alan Preston is facilitating between the rail action groups campaigning to retain the Gisborne-Napier/North Auckland/Stratford-Okahukura/ Northern Wairarapa Lines. Don Selby, Chairman of the Pahiatua Rail Society will speak on behalf of the four lines, and invited our group to send a resume of the issues here. Geoff Joyce will contact Don directly.
We need to consider whether the messages of each group are best combined as part of a national strategy campaign, or best kept separate.