Northport welcomes planned State Highway 1 upgrades

Northport Ltd welcomes and supports the announcement last week by Minister of Transport Simon Bridges about State Highway 1 upgrades. More than twenty kilometres south of Whangarei are to be widened in the largest roading project yet undertaken in Northland.

The State Highway 1 upgrades announcement sends a positive message regarding central government’s support for economic growth in Northland and recognises the vital role that Northport has to play in this.

The fact that State Highway 1 is to be upgraded southwards from Whangarei at the same time as northwards from Puhoi demonstrates an admirable degree of cooperative thinking and will speed up the ‘Connecting Northland’ objective.

We thoroughly endorse the Minister’s statement that improving the region’s freight connections to key export markets will be a game changer for the wider Northland economy. The proposed Whangarei to Port Marsden Highway upgrade will eliminate delays and inefficiencies caused by roadworks and accidents, improving the connectivity of the port not only to Whangarei but also to the rest of Northland.

We believe it will help stimulate investment across the entire region and supports our drive to provide an efficient coastal shipping link for freight imports and exports between Northland and New Zealand’s main international shipping routes. This is a link we have already established but the road upgrade will make it even more efficient and viable for Northland exporters and importers.

We are pleased by the Minister’s statement that NZTA’s ultimate objective is a significant upgrade of the entire highway between Whangarei and Auckland.

The widening of the Whangarei to Port Marsden Highway section of State Highway 1 will not only relieve congestion but will also enhance safety and efficiency.

Sir John Goulter, Chair of Northport Ltd and its 50 percent shareholder Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd, said:

“This news about State Highway 1 upgrades is very positive for the Greater Marsden Point Area and can only enhance and support our efforts, and those of both Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council, to realise the industrial, commercial and residential potential of Marsden Point.”