Palmerston North Regional Freight Hub

Palmerston North is already a nationally strategic freight distribution centre, with domestic and export goods moving to the city from Auckland and the upper North Island, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and Wellington.

Freight volumes are expected to increase in the coming decades and it is crucial that we have an integrated transport network to support this growth. Rail is an important part of this picture.

KiwiRail has begun planning a modern, inter-modal Regional Freight Hub near Palmerston North, which will enable rail and road to work together to meet the freight demand in central New Zealand.

It will tie in with trucking networks, air transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) key roading projects in the area and contribute to growing the Manawatu region.

The approach to developing rail integrated logistics services in Palmerston North has been a joint effort with economic development agency Accelerate25, Horizons Regional Council, Palmerston North City Council and NZTA. 

On 15 November 2018 Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced $40m funding to design, designate land for rail use and purchase land for the hub.

This stage of the project is expected to take up to three years.

KiwiRail has begun designing what the hub and what its footprint will be. We plan to announce the finalised design later in 2019.

From there we will identify potential sites for the freight hub and begin the process to have a site designated for rail use.

We will be talking to freight customers, stakeholders and mana whenua over the course of the project, particularly as we review site options. Once a preferred site has been identified, we will work closely with affected land owners.

The project phases are:

  • Hub design (approx. 4 months)
  • Identifying potential site options, then confirming a preferred site – which includes seeking feedback from stakeholders, landowners and the community
  • From around mid-late 2020 we expect to begin the designation process - which includes public notification and further opportunities for public input.

Once the designation is confirmed the land purchase will commence.

After the designation is complete and land has been purchased, KiwiRail will begin planning for building the freight hub, which will include resource consents.

This webpage will be updated as the hub project progresses.


More information and contact details