September 05, 2017
NZ First rail plan undercuts Waikato Tainui investment
The Maori Party's Hauraki Waikato candidate isn't impressed with New Zealand First's promise to move Auckland's port operations to Northport near Whangarei.
Northland MP and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says there's better use for the Auckland land than cars and containers.
But Mr Papa, a former Waikato Tainui executive chair, says that undermines the tribe's development of an inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura on Hamilton's eastern fringe.
He says that is now a project of national significance.
"It is actually a golden triangle between Auckland, Tauranga and the Waikato. There is rail, there is brand new rolling stock. The government has over time spent $7 billion increasing the capacity of roads. People are now saying 'never mind about that, let's move it up to Marsden Point,'" he says.
Mr Papa says the Maori Party's iwirail policy of iwi investing in infrastructure will also boost the importance of the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga rail corridor.
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