With goods for 20 per cent of New Zealand’s population moving through Manawatū annually and the unprecedented levels of growth fuelled by significant public and private investment with more than $8 billion of transport and infrastructure investment planned and under way in Palmerston North city and Manawatū in the next 10 years, the region is strategically positioned to cement its position as the Central New Zealand Distribution Hub (CNZDH).

The region provides unrivalled connectivity for the inbound and outbound transportation of goods in New Zealand, particularly with Palmerston North Airport one of the three key nodes on the national air freight network, operating 24/7.

The CNZDH will create an unique multi-modal transport system of rail, road, air, and sea via port  for central New Zealand that will see economic, social, and environmental benefits for its wider community, reduce emissions through efficient freight movement and provide a key component of the national transport framework, complementing the Golden Triangle and the southern Christchurch node.

The Central New Zealand Distribution Hub (CNZDH) will provide economic, social and environmental benefits for the region and the country including reducing emissions through more efficient freight movement and provide more efficient delivery of goods in New Zealand.  

The key projects to help achieve this positioning include a large-scale rail hub at Bunnythorpe, Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway reconnecting the western and eastern roading networks of the lower North Island, the Ōtaki to Levin (O2NL) expressway, and a transformational Regional Freight Ring Road as part of the Palmerston North Integrated Transport Initiative (PNITI) through Waka Kotahi.  

These projects complement the extensive freight and logistics businesses already based here, in the Ruapehu Business Park and within the northeast industrial zone such as Foodstuffs Distribution Centre, DKSH and EziBuy.  

Stationing New Zealand’s central distribution hub in Manawatū fits effectively with the national network and will support growth and development in the surrounding regions as well as connecting Wellington, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Tauranga and up the central North Island to Hamilton and Auckland, providing a critical central point for New Zealand’s national transport framework. 

With 20% of New Zealand’s consumer goods moving through Manawatū already, and with freight volumes in New Zealand expected to increase significantly in the coming decades due to population growth and increasing competition, it is essential the region has an enduring and future-proofed transport network to support this growth, and an integral part of this has been the establishment of a robust and strategic plan to manage the region’s transport network and support it to thrive. 

Developed by Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) and the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA), a strategy has been developed which sets out the region’s position in New Zealand’s national transport and logistics network, along with a thorough analysis of how rail, road and air connect freight to our regional cities, towns, ports and airports and into global supply chains and the current work and projects underway to support the regions positioning as one of the three key transport nodes in New Zealand, and the governance, funding and master planning required to execute this vision.

The CNZDH Strategy is the first of its kind for Central New Zealand and CEDA and PNCC are working closely with the government and, together, are progressing the initiatives in the strategy at pace.  

With this strategy, Palmerston North, and the wider Manawatū region, will have the foundation to build a network that will provide positive flow-on effects for the whole community, and New Zealand, for generations to come. 

View the full Strategy here

For more information:
[email protected]
06 350 1830