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Regional Freight Hub

Have your say

KiwiRail is seeking public feedback on the preferred site of the new Regional Freight Hub, near Palmerston North.

Visit our interactive map to have your say:

The interactive map is open for feedback until Thursday 30 July.  You can continue to provide your feedback via email at:


You're also invited to meet the team to talk more about the project at our public engagement sessions:



Monday 13 July, 9am – 1pm

The Plaza, Palmerston North

Monday 13 July, 3pm – 7pm

Bunnythorpe School

Tuesday 21 July, 7pm – 9pm

Zoom session, online event
To register email:

Wednesday 22 July, 3.30pm – 7.30pm

Bunnythorpe School

Saturday 25 July, 6.30am – 11am 

Albert Street Market, Palmerston North


You can also check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Present 1

The Regional Freight Hub story

Palmerston North is a nationally strategic freight location, 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 significantly 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 is progressing plans for a high-tech, intermodal freight hub which will help grow Palmerston North’s role as a critical freight distribution centre for the lower North Island.

It will support rail and road transport working together to meet the freight demand in the lower North Island, while boosting the regional economy.

The hub project is aligned with Horizon’s and Palmerston North City Council growth plans and it will tie in with other freight transport projects in the region.

KiwiRail has received investment through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to undertake the design (Master Plan) of the hub, have the land designated for rail use and commence purchasing the required land.


  • Reducing transport emissions and road costs - every tonne of freight carried by rail has 66 per cent fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight. Getting more freight on rail also reduces road maintenance costs and improves road safety.
  • Taking pressure off city roads - situating the hub outside Palmerston North and integrating it with NZTA’s planned freight road and Manawatu Gorge road, will take freight traffic out of central Palmerston North and reduce congestion.
  • Growing the logistics industry in Manawatu - KiwiRail will also work with key customers on major infrastructure requirements to encourage logistics and distribution businesses into the area, to help grow the sector and create more local jobs.

Intermodal Freight Hub design (Master Plan)

The Master Plan was developed to guide site selection for the new Regional Freight Hub.

It represents a new approach to integrated logistics for New Zealand.

The site combines a container terminal, warehousing, and bulk goods and forestry loading operations with KiwiRail’s train operations and maintenance facilities.

It allows distribution companies to co-locate on the site, ensuring access to rail and improving operational efficiencies.

The Master Plan is based on best international supply chain practice and is future focused – designed to ultimately accommodate longer, more economical 1,500-metre trains.

More information about the Master Plan process is available here.


Regional Freight Hub preferred site

On 2 July 2020 Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the preferred site of the Regional Freight Hub.

The final site comes after a year of work with stakeholders and experts to determine the best location around Palmerston North, beside the North Island Main Trunk rail line.

The preferred site is partially in the North East Industrial Zone, stretching over rural land north towards Bunnythorpe. It is close to Palmerston North’s major distribution businesses and Palmerston North Airport.

The image below illustrates an indicative hub footprint and roading connections, there may also be requirements to purchase additional land to mitigate noise, light and for storm water management.

KiwiRail is talking to affected landowners about purchasing their land for the Hub and will work with the local community to develop mitigations for effects.

Please note this image is indicative. The final footprint of the Regional Freight Hub to be designated will be determined over the coming months following engagement with landowners and the community

Regional Freight Hub

Public Feedback

KiwiRail is seeking public feedback on the Hub as part of finalising the design and developing mitigations.

Meaningful feedback from the local community and wider community is a crucial part of the final design process. 

Further information is available in the FAQs below.

If you have any questions please email us at

Project phases

  • August 2018: Application for funding to design the hub, have land designated for rail use and purchase land submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • November 2018: Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced $40 million funding to develop a new road-rail hub near Palmerston North
  • November 2019: Master Plan (high level design) announced
  • July 2020: Preferred site announced
  • From July 2020: Seeking public feedback as the Hub design is finalised and mitigations are developed
  • Expected September 2020: Designation process begins - which includes public notification and further opportunities for public input
  • After the designation is complete and land has been purchased, the next stage will be to begin planning to build the Regional Freight Hub, including any necessary resource consents, building consents and other third-party approvals



More information and contact details