Rejuvenating rail: planning for the Marsden Point rail line

The New Zealand Railways Corporation (hereafter referred to as KiwiRail in this paper), achieved a significant milestone with the instigation of its first designation for a new rail line in 30 years. Although a designation can not be relied upon to implement any works until it is confirmed, it takes effect (in terms of protecting the land to be designated against works which may hinder or prevent the designation being implemented), from the time that KiwiRail serves a Notice of Requirement on the city or district council. The serving of a Notice of Requirement for the Marsden Point Rail Line designation and the lodging of the associated regional resource consent applications in November 2008 by KiwiRail is therefore a critical early step in securing the location of the rail line as part of strategic long term planning. The Marsden Point Rail Line Project is a substantial and to date successful project for KiwiRail, obtaining overall buy in from the local community and directly affected landowners. The Northland Regional Council issued its decision to grant the resource consents, and the Whangarei District Council issued its favourable recommendation to confirm (with conditions) the designation, on 9 October 2009. Subsequently KiwiRail released its decision to confirm the designation on 23 November 2009. Only five parties (of which only two are directly affected landowners) have appealed the designation and resource consent decisions to the Environment Court. Of these appeals, one has subsequently been withdrawn, three are in the process of being settled, and the last is likely to be struck out due to the appeal matters not relating to this designation. The aim of this paper is to disseminate the tools used to undertake and make the Project to date successful, through examining KiwiRail’s objectives for the Project, the planning approach it adopted to achieve strategic planning outcomes, the consultation undertaken with directly affected landowners and the community, and some of the challenges overcome. In summary, it is considered that the lack of objection to the designation and resource consent applications by directly affected landowners, along with the favourable decision and recommendation of the Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Councils respectively, is largely a result of the way KiwiRail implemented the Project. This includes KiwiRail’s integrated approach to the Project (seeking both the designation and associated resource consents at the same time with aligned lapsing periods), and a strong Project team culture and continuity of Project team members. This strengthened the consultation undertaken, allowing the building of strong relationships with key stakeholders and directly affected landowners, reducing the risks to the designation and resource consent applications not being successful.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 10p.
  • Monograph Title: Rejuvenation and renaissance: CORE 2010: conference on railway engineering, 12-15 September 2010, Wellington, New Zealand

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2014 8:07PM