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Protesters rail against inaction

Four members of the
controversial environmental group Restore Passenger Rail were charged with endangering transport and could face up to 14 years in jail after they unfurled a banner and glued themselves to SH1 outside the Terrace tunnel in Wellington shortly before 8am yesterday.

Police said the protesters posed a serious threat to public safety.

The four appeared in the Wellington District Court at 2pm yesterday, and were granted bail. They will reappear on Friday at 10am.

Masterton’s Jeremy Logan – a member of the group who didn’t take part in yesterday’s protest – said the drastic protest action was born of a real concern about climate inaction.

He said he understood why motorists were frustrated but said Restore Passenger Rail was taking direct action to send a message to the government for more urgent change.

Minister of Transport Michael Wood condemned the protest: “The tactics used by Restore Passenger Rail, including disrupting commuters and delaying emergency services, are unacceptable”.

Wood said the government has a plan to boost rail in New Zealand, including spending $8.6 billion since 2017 repairing the neglected track network.

Wairarapa’s trains reach their end of service life in 2028; the government has not yet confirmed if it will fund the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to replace them.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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