Budget lifts investment in rail to a record $4.6 billion

  • Rt Hon Winston Peters
State Owned Enterprises

State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says Budget 2020 is another milestone in securing the future of our rail system, and another step towards economic recovery.

“Rail is a critical part of our integrated transport network. Not only is investment essential to address decades of under-investment, but further investment in rail will play an essential role in our economic recovery post-lockdown,” Mr Peters said.

“KiwiRail is a major contributor to New Zealand’s infrastructure projects, and currently employs almost 4,000 people.

“The investment in rail infrastructure, is not only helping to secure the thousands of existing jobs at KiwiRail but will be a huge boost to New Zealand’s civil engineering and construction sector, with hundreds of contractors, and their material suppliers, needed nationwide for track renewal, mechanical facility upgrades and ferry terminal projects.”

“The Coalition Government has a bold vision for a 21st century rail network as outlined in the draft New Zealand Rail Plan. We need a resilient and reliable rail system to support freight and get our cities moving,” Transport Minister Phil Twyford said.

“Budget 2020 builds on the substantial investments we’ve already made in rail through past Budgets, the Provincial Growth Fund, and the New Zealand Upgrade Programme which will help future proof the economy and reduce emissions.”

Budget 2020 provides over $1.2 billion for rail, including:

  • $246 million to support investment in the track and supporting infrastructure.
  • $400 million to help replace the Interislander ferries and associated portside infrastructure.
  • $421 million for new locomotives.

Changes proposed through the Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill will also provide long-term certainty for rail by allowing network investment to be channelled through the National Land Transport Fund. Budget 2020 provides $148 million to support the fund to make these investments once the Bill has been passed.