Manawatū-Whanganui: Port and Rail boost

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest more than $6 million towards revitalisation of the Whanganui Port and upgrade of the town’s rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Subject to a business case, the Government will support works to the port planned by Whanganui District Council and identified in the 2016 Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan – Accelerate 25.

“Redevelopment of the port precinct is a significant step that will help bring in new businesses and rejuvenate the region,” Mr Jones says.

"The goal is to create a more extensive area for value-added specialist manufacturing and make Whanganui an attractive investment prospect for marine and logistics-related industries. 

"Expansion of the port precinct is expected to create 160 new jobs as businesses get established.

“During my visit to the region, I was impressed by the level of collaboration between local government, iwi, and businesses,” Mr Jones says.

The Government will provide an additional $90,000 to assist with further technical and design work, including undertaking a geotechnical assessment.

“The PGF will also provide $3 million for a project to build resilience into the Whanganui rail line – a good example of the sort of remedial infrastructure projects the Fund can assist,” Mr Jones says.

“The project will improve the resilience of the line and support KiwiRail in moving the growing export volumes in the region, which includes both dairy products and logs.

“KiwiRail estimates that each year the project will keep 6,250 trucks off the road, and 563 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by enabling freight to travel by rail,” Mr Jones says.

The work is expected to take three years.