Gisborne is a critical part of New Zealand and due to its isolation needs good transport links, Prime Minister John Key said on a visit to the city today.

But he stopped short of indicating whether the Government would foot the $4.5 million bill to fix the Gisborne to Napier railway link.

He said the Government was looking at it closely and working with KiwiRail to assess the best outcome.

"Links are very important for Gisborne - road, rail, airport and the port. This is a place that produces a lot of what the world wants to buy in manufacturing, agriculture and tourism."