Strong support from the BOP Regional Transport Committee for Tauranga to Hamilton + Auckland passenger trains


Lindsey Horne

3 min read

The Future is Rail presented to the Bay of Plenty regional transport committee on why they should consider investing in a detailed business case for a train that connects Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty to Hamilton and Auckland.

The outcome from the presentation: Strong support from the committee.

“I’m keen to push this forward for a detailed business case.

For too long we’ve had vague concerns about whether this is possible, whether it could work…we’ve never had a robust business case to properly nail down whether this can work.

So many of our residents are so keen for us to explore this, we hear that in consultations we do. We need to have a holistic view of rail and what it can bring to climate change, safety, resilience and I’d also add value uplift and value capture particularly for enabling housing so I’m keen that we do something in this space.” Western Bay of Plenty Mayor, James Denyer.

“Kiwirail firmly support the recommendation that’s been put on the table here to proceed to a DBC. It just makes sense to do the planning work…we’re more than happy to assist.” Angus Hodgson, KiwiRail.

"Under standing orders, we can only flag strong support in the minutes at this point to request that the staff commence an investigation into inter-regional travel for rail in the Bay of Plenty as part of the RLTP.” Councillor Lyall Thurston, Chairperson of the BOP RTC.

“I just want to echo some of the good points that have been made by members, the business case process is exactly the right forum to explore both the challenges and opportunities that rail presents to the Bay of Plenty so it is the will of this committee we have almost certainly the will to put an activity into our RLTP and as you know or will hear from staff today we’re about to move into that prioritisation process.” Oliver Haycock, BOP Regional Council Transport Manager

Here’s the key reasons why we think it makes sense and access to the full presentation below.

  • New Zealanders want trains – 97% of submissions for the parliamentary inquiry into inter-regional passenger rail were in support*

  • Not just commuters - students, caregivers with young children, teenagers and social trips, people with bikes - so many people want long distance trains.

  • Rail takes cars off the road and reduces congestion which is a major issue in the Bay of Plenty.

  • Emissions reduction – While many of our trips are short trips (34% of Tauranga trips are under 2km) a return train trip from Tauranga to Auckland is equivalent to x225 2km trips and electric rail is the most carbon efficient way to travel over long distances**

  • Resilience – The Kaimai's were closed in May this year due to slips, this will continue with more extreme weather, we need other transport options.

  • Safety – SH2 is one of the most dangerous roads in the country and we have major safety targets under Road to Zero rail is a really safe way to travel compared to driving.

  • It’s up to 500% more affordable than driving - $427.5 to drive to and from Akl vs. approx. $72 for return rail trip**

  • The time is now: The draft Transport GPS has a new budget line for inter-regional public transport – we’ve never seen this pool of money before! ****

  • Connecting the golden triangle is a key priority from the select committee’s response to the parliamentary inquiry*

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