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New horizons for loggers

Centreport’s newly developed log hub in Waingawa Carterton will officially open this Monday, set to address fears of “wall of wood” loggers clogging the Rimutaka Hill Rd.

The hub, which will be opened by transport minister Simon Bridges, will connect the world to the Wairarapa’s forestry sector through a reliable and cost effective transport connection based upon rail.

The development is the result of a partnership between CentrePort, forestry exporters, and KiwiRail, and the hub will be served daily by KiwiRail freight trains.

Utilisation of rail will have the significant side benefit of reducing the need for increasing numbers of logging trucks on the Rimutaka Hill road.

Carterton Mayor John Booth said the development of the Waingawa hub is “just really good for the whole Wairarapa”, and would cater to the fast-growing forestry sector in the region.

Logging volumes to Wellington have grown by 100 per cent in the last five years, with further increases forecasted as the logging boom hits.
“We’ve got a huge amount of logs that come out of especially the eastern area of Wairarapa,” Mr Booth said.

“It’s going to mean a better utilisation of our rails and the transport operators will benefit as well.

“With increased amount of logs that are coming out of the forests, they’re going to be flat out carting it to the hub in Waingawa, and they will still be carting over the hill, there’s no doubt about that, but I just think it’s really good to utilise what we’ve got at Waingawa.”

Mr Booth said the hub creates another avenue for economic development and may encourage younger people to stay in the Wairarapa and work in the forestry industry.

“It all has a flow-on effect,” Mr Booth said.

“I’m hoping this will be a catalyst for more businesses to go into that industrial area at Waingawa.

“Anything that encourages industry development and jobs for us is wonderful and it’s what we want to see.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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