The regions are holding their breath for the details of the Government's billion dollar rescue package in Gisborne on Friday.

Thanks to New Zealand First's promise to reopen the rail line between Gisborne and Napier, the Gisborne Rail Action Group has high hopes when Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones launches the regional economic development fund.

Nikki Searancke of the Gisborne Rail Action Group said rail, like road, was essential infrastructure.

"[KiwiRail] don't have to make money," she said.


"We pride ourselves in being able to get to market, with all our produce. Rail is part of that discussion."

In Hawke's Bay, it is hoped the Government will help reopen the line as far as Wairoa.

A Napier Port-run rail freight service was supposed to be operational last year but the cost for KiwiRail to ready the track was too high and the service postponed.

This was despite strong growth in log volumes to Napier Port and that section of track not suffering the washouts as nearer to Gisborne.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council Transport Committee chairman, Alan Dick said there were talks between Government and KiwiRail.

"That is backed up of course by the existing agreement with Napier Port and KiwiRail, which in turn is backed up by the underwriting agreement from Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

The choice of Gisborne for the fund launch is likely tied to the government's billion-tree planting pledge, which will further increase the appeal of rail.

Made with funding from