Dannevirke is to benefit from a $40 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau yesterday announced the PGF will invest in roading and water storage infrastructure to aid primary industry growth in Central Hawke's Bay.
Dannevirke's share of the funding amounts to $4.4m to evaluate and build a new rail hub.
Tabuteau said the PGF is providing $400,000 to investigate the effect a new rail hub would have on the local roading network, as well as other wider requirements of freight movement and hubs in Hawke's Bay.
"A new rail hub at Dannevirke could remove a considerable amount of logging and other freight from local roads," he said.
"Dannevirke is the perfect location for the hub as it lies close to the Hawke's Bay boundary and major plantations, including Titoki Forest. The Provincial Development Unit is in discussions with KiwiRail about this proposal," Tabuteau said.
The announcement signals a significant boost in investment in infrastructure for the Tararua District, Labour MP based in Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty said.
"The Tararua District has long been overlooked by successive governments, so I am delighted that this coalition Government has today shown Tararua's importance in our region by providing funding through the Provincial Growth Fund," McAnulty said.
"The Dannevirke Rail Hub has long been pushed by the district as a project that will bring economic benefits to the town and wider district. Yesterday's announcement means that work can get under way," McAnulty said.
He said Dannevirke is the ideal location for the hub as it sits near the boundaries of Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Wairarapa as well as being close to major forestry plantations.
"I am delighted for Dannevirke and am confident that this investment from Government will make a difference for the region. I spoke to Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis yesterday morning and have re-iterated my commitment to work with her and her council to get more applications in to the Provincial Growth Fund," McAnulty said.
The announcement follows previous PGF announcements for Tararua, including $100,000 to assess alternative land uses and $60,000 towards the Tararua Tourism and Trails Strategy.
Among other projects announced yesterday was $20m allocated to Route 52 from Waipukurau to Porangahau. It is the biggest sum to be allocated for a single project. This follows hard on the heels of Tararua District Council's lost big for $10 million to upgrade Route 52 between Weber and Wimbledon.
"The upgrade of Route 52 from Waipukurau to Porangahau is part of a wider Hawke's Bay transport package aimed at helping lift the productivity of the region through roading improvements," said Tabuteau.
"The primary sector is a principal driver of the Hawke's Bay economy, ranging from intensive horticulture to pastoral farming and forestry – and there's a lot of growth expected in the coming years," Tabuteau said when making the announcement in Waipukurau.
"The kiwifruit industry is looking to expand its planting to exceed 100ha a year over the next five to seven years, and an increase in logging is predicted by 2028.
"To support this growth, producers need a reliable roading infrastructure, as well as water, to connect producers to their market.
"Sustainability of freshwater supplies is critical so we're announcing a major PGF investment in water storage with funding for the first step of pre-feasibility work for the development and construction of the Tukituki water project."
A total of $14,700,000 has been allocated for this.
"The Tukituki water project will enable the development of an environmentally sustainable and reliable water supply to existing industry and primary sector water users, and provide additional water for further growth opportunities.
"Both the Heretaunga and Tukituki water projects will ensure enough water is stored for use when water supplies are low over summer.
"The initiative also has the potential to create jobs in the future and unlock the opportunities to develop unproductive Māori land across the region."