Response to statement by the NZ Taxpayers’ Union

19 March 2015

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has claimed today that Northport “does not want a rail link” and that a rail link “does not feature in the Port's 30 year plan."

Our position has always been, and remains, that while rail is not a short-term priority for Northport we support the designation of the rail corridor as it does fit with our strategy of long-term growth. 

There is a subtle difference between this position and that reported by the NZ Taxpayers’ Union. 

It is correct that neither Mr Peters nor any member of New Zealand First has visited Northport. Nor has New Zealand First discussed the business strategy or growth plans of this privately-owned business with us at any stage. 

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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 processed by the port. Other export items include kiwifruit, dairy products, concrete railway sleepers 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 Limited, itself owned jointly and equally by Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and the Port of Tauranga Ltd.

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For more information about Northport please contact:

Peter Heath, Due North PR 09-4074695 / 021-456353