NEW Zealand’s transport minister Phil Twyford, on 3 May, opened Ports of Auckland’s new inland port just north of Hamilton.

The freight hub is located in Waikato, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions, which makes up the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’ bounded by Auckland and the Bay of Plenty.

“The Waikato Freight Hub is a key part of Ports of Auckland’s rail-connected North Island freight hub network which links Kiwi businesses with New Zealand and global markets,” Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said.

“This is part of Ports of Auckland’s strategy to support regional and national economic growth with freight hubs in South Auckland, Mount Maunganui, Manawatu and now Waikato,” Mr Gibson said.

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All the freight hubs are located next to rail and are in regions that generate significant volumes of exports that need to be efficiently transported to a major port.

“Our freight hub network will help lower freight costs, reduce carbon emissions, and offer a wider range of shipping services to North Island exporters and importers,” Mr Gibson said.

“The hub provides future customers with a unique opportunity. Businesses will be able to have their own sites with customised sized warehouse design and layout.”

The transport minister said the investment was “great” for New Zealand, as an island nation, far from overseas markets.

“We rely on international trade to maintain our standard of living. We need strong, efficient transport links to keep costs down and maintain our competitiveness. Investments like this are absolutely vital,” said Mr Twyford.

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