February 21, 2018
Northland port could get infrastructure fund boost
Getting a rail link to Northport is a priority for a $1 billion a year fund aimed at boosting regional infrastructure.
Cabinet has signed off on the $3 billion fund, which was part of New Zealand First’s coalition deal with Labour, with the first projects to be announced in Gisborne on Friday.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says it’s the first step to turning around New Zealand’s two tier economy, where all the investment was going into Queen St and not the regions where the country’s wealth is created.
He’s keen to see action on Northport, starting with a study on the options for moving the Port of Auckland, and also to see the rail line between Auckland and Whangarei fixed up, with a new link to Marsden Point.
"It’s impossible to understand how you would have such an important deepwater facility with so much flat land and no railway line service to it. And what we have been trapped with is a whole lot of retarded, ridiculous, obsolete thinking that has got away with it where Northland is concerned for 45 years," Mr Peters says.
He says investing in regional infrastructure will pay dividends in increasing Maori employment.
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