Environment Waikato Faces Pressure Over Waikato Rail

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Media Release 28th April, 14:00

Environment Waikato will receive a petition this Thursday asking for a commuter rail service between Hamilton and Auckland to be included in its Annual Plan.

Signed by over 11,500 people, The Campaign for Better Transport petition has already been presented to central Government for consideration. However, campaign manager Jon Reeves says it is important for Environment Waikato to take a proactive stance.

“Environment Waikato need to take a proactive stance on this issue” said Mr Reeves. “They are charged with organising public transport in the Waikato area. Rather than simply sitting on the fence, the council needs to advocate and engage with the Government to get the service up and running in time for the Rugby World Cup. A good start would be to meet with local government MPs and instruct them to publicly support the service”.

Environment Waikato’s Annual Plan currently makes no mention of a Waikato to Auckland rail service, in spite of a favourable report on the idea which the organisation received over a year ago. The report confirmed the economic benefits of a rail link for the Waikato region.

The petition will be supplemented by the presentation of 500 personalised postcards to Environment Waikato councillors.

Submissions on Environment Waikato’s Annual Plan close this Friday. Mr Reeves is urging the public to make personal submissions in support of Waikato trains by emailing

Submit Now! to Environment Waikato

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The Annual Plan for Environment Waikato has, accidentally, left out any mention of the Hamilton – Auckland commuter trains. This is YOUR CHANCE to remind them they should happen this year.

The CBT has written a submission for you. Feel free to add to, or delete from, the submission.

RECOMMENDATION: Add a paragraph as to why you want the trains. Perhaps you are a student, a business person, retired, or just would fancy the region by train. Whatever, make the point known.

All you have to do is download it and send it to: Please cc so we can manage the numbers submitted.


Waikato Auckland Business Case

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Environment Waikato conducted a business case study into the feasibility of a rail service between Hamilton and Auckland. We have uploaded it in PDF format here:

 Waikato Rail Business Case

Things have moved on a bit from when this study was done.  For instance, the study thinks that 1 service a day would be all that is required, but we really think 3 services a day would be extremely well patronised.  One business alone, with offices in Hamilton and Auckland, would take at least 10 seats a day on the service.

Of course, having commissioned the study which shows a positive benefit cost ratio, Environment Waikato are now ignoring it completely.

Google Maps for Auckland Cyclists

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ARTA Media Release

Autumn is upon us and many Auckland cyclists consider the milder conditions the best to get on their bikes and use pedal power to move around the city.

To help cyclists and would-be-cyclists on their way, a series of online, interactive cycle maps have been launched today to provide up-to-date information and help Aucklanders plan their active transport routes around the region.

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) has teamed up with Google, the Ministry of Transport and the wider cycling community to create the maps that chart Auckland’s cycling facilities and infrastructure. The cycle maps also provide valuable safety information regarding areas where there have been recent cycle and motor vehicle incidents.

Read the full media release here.

Hamilton Submissions: Waikato Trains Now!

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Submissions on the Draft Annual Plans for Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council close this Friday, 23rd April. This is your chance to remind both councils you want Waikato Trains Now!

The CBT has made it easy for you, and you can kill two birds with one stone and submit your opposition to big trucks at the same time.

A template submission to the Hamilton City Council is here. Email this one to

A template submission to the Waikato District Council is here.  Email this one to

Yes, you can send a submission to both councils, no matter where you live. With everyone’s help, we’ll get our Waikato Trains Now!

Work starts on Onehunga rail station

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Finally, the New Zealand Herald reports work has started on Onehunga’s new rail station:

ARC chairman Mike Lee and the Campaign for Better Transport, which raised an 8000-signature petition in 2006 to reopen the Onehunga branch railway line to passenger trains, were last week becoming increasingly nervous about a lack of progress on the site.

It’s a shame there won’t be integration with buses, but at least they’ll be handy to the station, with Onehunga’s main bus station being by the public library.

New trains on track

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The Dominion Post has a first look at the new trains for the Wellington network:

Meanwhile, work on new stations on the Kapiti line is now underway.

Airport in discussions with KiwiRail

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…sadly (for Auckland, that is) Palmerston North International Airport is in discussions with KiwiRail, the Manawatu Standard reports. They’ve even produced a design, which also includes a bus terminal:
Proposed railway station at Palmerston North Airport

The airport station would be on a loop from the North Island Main Trunk, and have a freight rail connection.

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