A Northland group campaigning to save the Auckland to Northland rail line has tried to present Whangarei MP Phil Heatley with a fake cheque for $1 billion.
They claim that amount could be saved by scrapping plans for the so-called holiday highway.
The Government is proposing to extend the motorway north of Auckland as far as Wellsford, at a cost of $1.7 billion.
The Save Our Rail group says for that money the Government could upgrade the railway line, which is in danger of closing, and build a rail link to the port at Marsden Point.
It says there would be enough to also realign State Highway 1 though the dangerous Dome Valley, and still have money left over to help rebuild Christchurch.
Mr Heatley was not in his office to accept the cheque.