March 21, 2023
Blue highway added to cyclone relief effort
The Government has tapped into regional development funding to charter the Rangitata for an emergency coastal shipping route between Gisborne and Napier.
There’s potential for the blue highway to be extended to Tauranga and the South Island,
Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan says because of damage to key road and rail links by Cyclone Gabrielle, it now takes more than nine hours to move products between Gisborne to Napier by truck.
She says it’s critical to get the East Coast’s vegetables, meat, wool, timber and wine out of Gisborne and to the market.
The Government is also spending $250,000 to fast track the rebuild of a wharf at Gisborne so the Rangitata can berth at the same time as export log ships are being loaded, and the same amount to instal infrastructure related to electrical connection points for reefer containers which are used for meat processors.