Labour backs 'inland port' in Manawatu

Labour will look to develop an inland port near Palmerston North if elected to Government.

Party leader David Cunliffe made the announcement today during a visit to the city.

He told reporters at Massey University the party would consider creating an inland port in the city, funded from the party's Regional Development Fund.

Cunliffe said such a facility would reinforce Palmerston North's strength as a transport hub in the lower North Island.

"The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region, which has been badly neglected by this Government," Cunliffe said in a statement released this afternoon.

"Unemployment in Manawatu/Whanganui has almost doubled under this National Government. But a Labour Government will back the Manawatu. There is a real buzz in Palmerston North about the potential to take this region forward."

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway said he knew there was work already underway on developing an inland port and Labour would look to support it. 

"This is the kind of hope Palmerston North needs after being neglected by the National Government for the past six years."

"We need a Government committed to backing regional centres to achieve their potential," he said.

Along with Massey University, Cunliffe also visited Stevensons Engineering in Tokomaru. He was to speak at a public meeting at the Globe Theatre in Palmerston North at 6pm tonight.

Manawatu Standard