The newly appointed chairman of the Ruakaka Economic Development Group says investment in transport infrastructure is key to unlocking Northland's potential.

"Years of stagnation and underinvestment in Northland look to be changing," Peter Batten said.

The group was thrilled Northland had been allocated $46 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, he said.

"Investment in transport infrastructure is key to unlocking Northland's potential", he said, adding that the Ruakaka area had been experiencing growth.


"Northport has started a regular, seasonal container shipping service. For once, Northland isn't sitting at the bottom of the leader board. We can all take some pride in helping to turn things around and commit to doing what we can to keep those indicators moving in the right direction.

"We certainly have high expectations for the rail study and the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy to deliver some clear answers and actions."

The group, he said, has now invested in marketing the Ruakaka/Marsden area to the Auckland market.

"We all have an interest in seeing our region prosper. It's my hope that Northland's recent good news will reinforce the growing business confidence and generate even better news in the months and years ahead."