Māori tourism possibilities from rail development north of Auckland

12:46 pm on 2 March 2019

Returning rail transport north of Auckland would increase the potential for Māori tourism, says Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones.

Shane Jones

Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones says rail services should be returned to Opua and Kawakawa. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Ministry of Transport is holding a series of hui in Northland on 6, 7 and 8 March to seek the views of Māori on the viability of better rail in the region, including freight and potential passenger services.

The Ministry is preparing a feasibility study on revamping the North Auckland railway line and wants to hear from more groups than the usual roading and engineering lobby groups.

Mr Jones said the ideal would be to get rail back as close as possible to Opua in the Bay of Islands and link it up with the cycle trail and with Kawakawa's famous tourist train, Gabriel.