13 Jul 2014

NZ First announces rail plan

4:39 pm on 13 July 2014

New Zealand First is proposing to develop Railways of National Importance as part of its transport policy.

Party leader Winston Peters said the Gisborne to Napier line would be one of the first projects which would be funded under the plan.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council has earmarked $5.5 million to invest in re-opening the line.

Winston Peters said the railway projects would be funded by diverting money from the Government's current roading fund. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Others would include the electrification of the Auckland suburban rail network south to Pukekohe and the possible extension of the Wellington suburban network to Levin and into Wairarapa.

The existing railway line running north from Christchurch could be an express commuter service between the city and Rangiora, which the party says has had significant population growth since the earthquakes

Mr Peters said the railway projects would be funded by diverting money from the Government's current roading, which he describes as bloated and hugely expensive.