Future focus on Upper North Island logistics

  • Hon Shane Jones
Regional Economic Development

The future of the upper North Island ports, including whether Ports of Auckland should be relocated, will be considered as part of a wider transport and logistics strategy, Associate Minister of Transport Shane Jones has today announced.

Cabinet has approved a programme of work to develop a comprehensive Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy to ensure our supply chain is fit-for-purpose in the long term.

“The future of New Zealand’s ports, freight services and coastal shipping is critical to our economy and for promoting opportunities for regional development and employment,” Mr Jones says.

“New Zealand’s freight volumes are expected to continue to grow. Understanding the drivers and uncertainties around the future of freight and logistics demand is vital to ensuring our supply chain is fit-for-purpose in the long term.

“The Government will soon appoint an independent working group of experts who will report to the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport and myself.

“The work to develop the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy comprises a logistics and freight review, as well as a plan for the long-term future of ports in the Upper North Island. It will also include priorities for investment in rail, roads and supporting infrastructure.

“Building an effective and sustainable transport system is a priority for the Government.

“As per our coalition agreement, we are committed to exploring the feasibility of moving the location of the Ports of Auckland, including giving Northport serious consideration.

“We are also committed to investigating a rail line to Marsden Point and Northport and upgrading the North Auckland Line to take pressure off the roads in Northland.

“Freight is a key enabler of our economy, and we rely on our international freight links to connect our goods to the world. About 55 per cent of New Zealand’s freight originates in or is destined for Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions,” Mr Jones says.