Labour’s record investment in Wellington transport
Rt Hon Helen Clark
2008 Media Statement
Labour’s record investment in Wellington’s transport infrastructure
Prime Minister Helen Clark today said that a major project to widen rail tunnels heading into Wellington could be brought forward under Labour’s economic stimulus package.
Helen Clark was today briefed about the project by Greater Wellington Regional Council and OnTrack representatives during a train trip from Wellington to Paraparaumu.
The project site is between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington on the Kapiti Coast.
“Currently, the tunnels are too small to allow new sized containers to be carried by rail to Wellington. Instead, they have to be removed from the trains at Palmerston North and trucked to Wellington.
“This has to be fixed. The project has immediate benefits by improving journey times, reliability, and capacity for freight trains on the North Island Main Trunk Line.
“The improvements will also benefit passenger train reliability and journey times.
“The project is estimated to cost $150 million, and will have 100 per cent New Zealand labour. It is estimated it could be started within six to twelve months, and would take two and a half years to complete.
“Capital works in transport and other parts of the public sector play an important role in providing greater continuity of work in the building sector, and can be a boost to economic activity in the wake of the international financial crisis.
“Labour’s key focus now is on the economic stimulus package being planned for December, Helen Clark said.
“This project is over and over above a number of projects started after the Labour-led Government last year committed $500 million to improve the Wellington region’s rail infrastructure.
“Projects funded by this investment will deliver a higher quality rail service with improved reliability, peak frequency, journey time, passenger comfort, and safety,” Helen Clark said.