What you need to know
The North Auckland Rail Line (NAL) runs between Westfield in Auckland and Otiria, approximately 60km north of Whāngārei. The operational part of the line runs from Swanson in West Auckland to the Fonterra plant at Kauri, around 10km north of Whāngārei.
The Government identified rail as a key opportunity to improve Northland’s transport connections, particularly the potential future development of the NAL. In late 2018 we began to develop a business case to understand the merits and costs of investing in, renewing and upgrading the NAL and constructing the proposed Marsden Point Rail Link (MPL), a potential new section of track to connect Northport at Marsden Point to the NAL. The MPL would run approximately 20km from Oakleigh, south of Whāngārei, to Marsden Point.
In March 2019, we released the business case, which explored 4 options in depth. In September 2019 and January 2020 the Government announced investment in Northland rail.
Government investment in Northland rail announced
The Government announced an NZD$109.7 million investment in Northland rail, which builds on the previous NZD$94.8 million investment announced in September 2019, and NZD$2.2 million to undertake geotechnical assessments along the route of a proposed spur line to Marsden Point
Business case released
The business case explored the merits of upgrading rail in Northland and constructing a new section of track to connect Northport to the NAL, known as the MPL.
In collaboration with KiwiRail, we also held 3 hui in March 2019. These were held in Otiria, Whangārei and Te Hana.
Business case commissioned
In 2018 the Ministers of Transport and Regional Economic Development asked us to look at the case for investing in rail in Northland, including building the MPL.