Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has unveiled the plan for a $40 million dollar investment into a Regional freight hub to be built in Palmerston North. Kiwi Rail will take the reins on this project, which aims to take pressure off city roads.
Minister Shane Jones, says, “To establish a new system, a new building, a new railway that will ease the export of goods and services and their import to Aotearoa.”
The aim of the hub is to support rail and road transport to meet the freight demand from the Northland, Wellington and Napier.
Gregg Miller, KiwiRail CEO says, “It’s about an 8-10 year build programme, clearly we gotta relocate a significant amount of infrastructure to pull this off but there is a queue of people lining at the door to build it physically and also to fund it, and customer talking about co-location.”
We should consider combining rail freight with university level studies and social improvement programmes, to be operated within the Manawatū.
More than two million tonnes of freight is moved through Palmerston North every year, the hub will therefore eliminate this traffic from the roads, while providing jobs for people in the region.
CEO Miller says, “The job opportunities have already started with our bold vision, we are going right through the process with council to look at our locations. Then comes the process of looking at the land we are trying to acquire. Then comes the process of development and consenting so there’s significant job opportunities around now.”
Minister Jones concludes, “Finding in a time of great capital constraints, putea, by that I mean money, with $500 million coming from the provincial growth fund, we have to back the people who are executing the projects.
There is room for possible expansion over the next 100 years.
Benefits of the proposed Freight hub
- Reducing transport emissions and road costs - every tonne of freight carried by rail has 66 percent fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight. Getting more freight on rail also reduces road maintenance costs and improves road safety.
- Taking the pressure off city roads - situating the hub outside Palmerston North and integrating it with NZTA’s planned freight ring road and Manawatu Gorge road, will take freight traffic out of central Palmerston North and reduce congestion.
- Growing the logistics industry in Manawatu - KiwiRail will also work with key customers on major infrastructure requirements to encourage logistics and distribution businesses into the area, to help grow the sector and create m
The fully integrated road-rail hub will enable freight volumes to be managed in a streamlined, efficient way and support the Manawatu's economic growth.
An event was held in Palmerston north today which included an animated fly-through of the hub.