Northland transport subject of Govt funded study

  • Jim Anderton
Industry and Regional Development

An integrated transport plan for Northland is the first step in giving the region the best possible opportunity to create jobs from the wall of wood, and improving the local transport network says Jim Anderton.

Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton has been working to maximise the regional development and job opportunities from Northland’s forests. The volume of processed logs will grow in Northland from 1.5 million tonnes of wood to 4 million tonnes by 2011 and a report released outlines options for the transport infrastructure in the region.

Jim Anderton welcomed the study, “the Integrated Transport Study shows there is a commitment to tackle the road, rail and coastal issues by local councils, industry representatives and the government. The study also addresses ways to balance tourism and wood processing transport needs.

“Further follow-up work needs to be undertaken by officials, local government and industry to develop the business case and identify the best transport proposal for the region.

The joint study cost $100,000 and was funded by the Ministry of Economic Development. It was a partnership between the Northland Regional Council, the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei District Councils, and the Ministry.

“This study follows a similar study in the Tairawhiti region, which has led the Government to set aside $30 million for regional transport funding.

“It is important that this study outlines the options for the next twenty years and looks at all modes of transport, not just roading. Significantly the study includes options for improving the transport system with additional network linkages,” said Jim Anderton.