Jacinda Ardern has today pledged that a Labour-led government will connect Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga by rail at a cost of $20 million.
Speaking in Tauranga, Ms Ardern said a Labour Government would, within 18 months of taking office, invest the money required to build a rapid rail network between the three cities.
"Labour will back the Regional Rapid Rail plan, starting with a $20m commitment to establishing a passenger service between Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga," Ms Ardern said.
"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."
Ms Arden said $10 million of the total $20 million investment would be spent on track changes, rail cars and the stations along the rail route.
"The 'Golden Triangle' of Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga contains half our population and economy," Ms Ardern said.
"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."