KiwiRail and the Government may be edging closer to reviving the idea of a new port at Clifford Bay, south of Blenheim.
The location has long been discussed as a possible alternative to the port at Picton.
Previous estimates suggested it would cut 20 minutes sailing time. and 50 minutes driving time, from a trip between Wellington and Christchurch.
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn told a rail conference in Wellington earlier this week that the new port is not on the company's agenda, but he still thinks it is important work.
Transport minister Steven Joyce says the Government is getting officials to look at the Clifford Bay idea, but it would be overstating the case to say it is back on the agenda at this stage.