September 10, 2019
Northland rail upgrade could unlock treaty settlement wealth
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is counting on a $100 million investment in upgrading the rail line to Northland will stimulate other investment in the region.
The money from the Provincial Growth Fund will go towards widening tunnels between Swanson and Whangārei and strengthening the line, making the building of a spur line to Northport more feasible.
He says such large government infrastructure projects tend to bring secondary and tertiary investors.
"For example where Sir Graham Latimer (farmed), that area around Paparoa and Maungatoroto, it's highly likely local investors will want to set up an industrial hub around that area once there is a reliable rail service. Whangārei can attract futher industry and the port at Marsden Point can grow quite impressively if there is a better transport hub," Mr Jones says.
The creation of such economic opportunity areas could benefit iwi like Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua who are looking for future-proofed businesses to store their settlement wealth.
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