Statement: government investment in Marsden Point rail link

June 4, 2021

Northport welcomes information released today by Waka Kotahi NZTA indicating that the government has instructed it to build a new rail link to Northport.

While current supply-chain issues impacting the country might be unprecedented, they demonstrate clearly the need for a resilient and geographically-astute Upper North Island Supply Chain strategy that makes best use of the three existing ports that already serve the region.

This in turn calls for continued central government investment in, and upgrading of, road, rail and coastal shipping infrastructure.

Development of supply chain alternatives will take time, collaboration and considerable investment in all modes of freight transport (road, rail and coastal shipping) to achieve an outcome that has both regional and national significance.

Northport has a greater role to play in the development of resilient and geographically-astute upper North Island supply chain alternatives. It has a vision for growth which takes advantage of significant development opportunities and available land holdings.

We have the ability to relieve the pressure on the Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) and the increasing demands on the Auckland waterfront. We see realising Northport’s significant growth opportunities as a staged and complementary process to supporting POAL rather than a short-term complete relocation of the Auckland port.

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About Northport

Northport, situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility catering for large, multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570 metre linear berth.

Logs, woodchip and processed timber for export comprise the bulk of cargo handled by the port. Recent investment in container handling equipment has seen an uptake in coastal and international container trade. Other export items include kiwifruit, dairy products and manufactured goods. Imports are an important part of Northport’s business and include fertiliser, gypsum, coal and palm kernel.

The port is owned and operated by Northport Ltd, itself owned jointly and equally by Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and the Port of Tauranga Ltd.