New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has promised his party will put $25 million funding towards a marine research centre in Tauranga if re-elected.

The Deputy Prime Minister is back in his old stomping ground, Tauranga, on the election campaign trail and made the announcement at Red Square this morning.

"What we need here, to use our maritime environment, is a marine university. New Zealand First will put up $25m to help build a world class marine biology facility, right here in Tauranga.

"This is the fastest growing city in the country but it needs far more investment to keep young people here, to add value here and aquaculture is one of our most exciting future industries," Peters said.

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He spoke in Te Puke last night, suggesting using military aircraft to bring seasonal workers from the Pacific to New Zealand to work in orchards.

Peters was MP of Tauranga from 1984 until 2005, first for National then for New Zealand First after establishing the party.

He was defeated by National's Bob Clarkson in 2005 and lost the race for the seat again in 2008 to National's Simon Bridges, who has retained the seat since.

More to come.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters speaks at Tauranga's Red Square. Photo / George Novak
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters speaks at Tauranga's Red Square. Photo / George Novak