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Labour to invest in regional road & rail

Labour will invest in a rapid rail network connecting Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga, and double funding to help complete important regional roading projects, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. 

“The ‘Golden Triangle’ of Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga contains half our population and economy. In the next 25 years, it is projected to gain another 800,000 people – three-quarters of national population growth. It’s time this growing region had a modern, rapid rail service.

“Labour will back the Regional Rapid Rail plan, starting with a $20m commitment to establishing a passenger service between Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga. If stage one is a success and demand justifies it, Labour will look to invest in stages two and three of the Regional Rapid Rail plan, delivering passenger and freight services travelling up to 160km/h throughout the regions, and south to Rotorua.  

“Labour will boost transport investment in regional projects across the country by doubling the funding range in the Government Policy Statement. This will lift funding available for regional projects from $70m-$140m a year to $140-$280m a year. Our regions are growing rapidly – and our roads are struggling to cope with increased heavy traffic and tourist vehicles. 

“In government, Labour will hold an urgent roading summit with councils to work out a shared plan to accelerate projects that would otherwise be delayed or never be built. We will particularly focus on fixing accident blackspots, given the worrying rise in the road toll outside the main centres in recent years. 

“The increased funding will be available for all regions and for all transport modes. 

“Labour’s regional transport plan will make New Zealand an even better place to live, work, visit, and do business. Let’s do this,” says Jacinda Ardern.