Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZUP Investment Will Enhance Northland Rail

The Government’s proposed investment in Northland, which includes a new spur line to link Northport to the existing rail network, is great news, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says.

Today the Government announced funding to build a 19km rail line between Whangārei and Northport and to upgrade the rail line north of Whangārei to handle heavy freight trains as part of its updated commitment to transport infrastructure projects through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

“This investment is significant for KiwiRail and for Northland,” Mr Miller says.

“Earlier this year, KiwiRail reopened the Northland line between Auckland and Whangārei after lowering the tracks in tunnels, replacing bridges and generally upgrading it. The NZ Upgrade Programme announcement today fills in the missing pieces by adding the spur to Northport, and further upgrading the mothballed line north from Whangārei to Otiria.

“This is about creating a resilient rail network for the region, reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and helping local businesses to grow. It will also see the creation of the first significant new rail line in New Zealand since the 1950s.”

Mr Miller says that when Northland’s port moved from Whangārei, KiwiRail’s freight movements in the region dropped from around a million tonnes a year to about 100,000 tonnes.

“The combination of the Marsden spur, NZUP funding to upgrade the line between Whangārei and Otiria to 18-tonne axle loads, and the new ability to carry hi-cube shipping containers between Whangārei and Auckland, is a game changer.

“The Ministry of Transport’s 2019 Northland rail business case found that with these improvements, rail tonnage into, out of and around Northland could reach 2.2 million tonnes a year. I think it can go even higher.

“The middle and far North are becoming the ‘North of Plenty’, potentially seeing the kind of horticulture growth that the Bay of Plenty experienced in the 1950s. The Government investment is ensuring this area is properly rail connected, and that means producers can get their exports to Northport and their produce around New Zealand easily, efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly way.

“Rail services and the Kaimai Tunnel enabled Port of Tauranga to grow into what it is today. In the same way, rail will be able to support Northport and bring wider economic benefits across Northland.”

The Marsden spur will be a 19km rail line connecting Northport to the Northland rail line at Oakleigh, south of Whangārei.

KiwiRail has previously received funding to purchase the land that is needed for the spur, and this process is already underway. A study will be undertaken to finalise the scope, cost and timing for the spur build and KiwiRail will be engaging with iwi and other stakeholders. KiwiRail is committed to using local construction businesses and material suppliers wherever possible – as it did for the Northland Line upgrade.

The Northland line between Whangārei and Swanson was closed in the second half of last year for upgrades, including lowering the track in 13 tunnels to allow wagons carrying hi-cube containers to travel through for the first time. It reopened in January and improvements are continuing.

The work to reopen the line from Kauri to Otiria, north of Whangārei, and to increase its axle loading will begin in 2022.

Other funding from today’s NZUP announcement confirms that three new stations, with full transport connections, will be built in southern Auckland.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 




Air New Zealand: Employees Recognised With $1,000 Share Award

The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees... More>>

Consumer NZ: Bank Complaints On The Rise, Survey Shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds. Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020... More>>

Federated Farmers: Applauds UK-Australia Free Trade Deal

News that Australia and the UK have signed a free trade agreement is a promising step forward in the fight against tariffs and protectionism, Federated Farmers says.
"It reinforces the international rules-based trading framework and is important for rural producers and global consumers," Feds President Andrew Hoggard says... More>>




ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>


Stats NZ: GDP Climbs 1.6 Percent In March 2021 Quarter Following December Dip

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.6 percent in the March 2021 quarter, following a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. "After an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021... More>>

Reserve Bank: Debt Serviceability Restrictions Added To Policy Toolkit

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua and the Minister of Finance have agreed to update their shared Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy and add debt serviceability restrictions to the list of potential tools available... More>>