Thank you! Te Huia survives funding threat.

Te Huia is a success. Thanks to your support the community has protected Te Huia. A recent funding decision means Te Huia will complete its five-year trial.

About Protect Te Huia

Te Huia is a success. It’s seen increased patronage to such an extent that new services have been added to cater for demand.

Yet in early 2024, the Government sent signals that it wouldn’t continue to fund Te Huia with the Prime Minister calling it a 'white elephant' using incorrect anecdotes and old financial data from the pandemic to justify this.

A grass-roots community campaign highlighted the benefits of Te Huia and NZTA Waka Kotahi agreed to continued funding (albeit at a reduced rate). Now that funding for Te Huia has been secured in the short-term, long-term investment should be made to ensure:

  • Faster speeds

  • Hybrid electric trains

  • Termination at Britomart

  • Stations at Pokeno, Tuakau, and Te Kauwhata

What can you do?

Extra action

Sign another petition calling for long distance passenger trains across all of Aotearoa NZ - almost at 15,000 signatures!

Stay in the loop

Join the TRON Facebook page for updates on Te Huia - TRON helped set up Te Huia

Subscribe or join The Future is Rail for all things passenger rail in Aotearoa New Zealand

Te Huia Explainer

What is Te Huia?

Te Huia is the passenger train between Auckland and Hamilton. It launched in 2021 to help connect the two growing cities. It is part way through a 5-year trial period.

Why was there an issue?

Te Huia is operating as a trial until mid-2026, but there was no funding certainty from central government beyond the end of June 2024. The NZTA Waka Kotahi Board met in May to consider the findings of the two-year review of the service. The Board determined whether it would continue funding the trial service to mid-2026, and how much. The most important short-term objective was to secure funding. The NZTA Waka Kotahi Board agreed the service was performing well and agreed to continue funding the trial, however, it reduced the level of funding and decided on a sinking lid to NZTA funding over time. You can find more here.

Is Te Huia popular?

The service is popular and is exceeding its weekday patronage targets. It’s popularity also resulted in adding extra services and a Saturday service. There’s also plans to add further stations in North Waikato to cater for increased demand.

What were we asking for?
  • Secure funding for Te Huia - We’re asked MPs Simeon Brown, Tama Potaka, Ryan Hamilton, and Tim van de Molen to not let an asset like this go to waste.

  • Funding to complete or extend the trial period. Given that Covid lockdowns occurred in the middle of the trial, Te Huia deserves a fair trial period.

Why should I care about passenger rail?

Rail is a low carbon way to travel. It provides significant economic and social benefits for connecting regions. It’s safe, provides co-benefits for freight, and provides alternative options for when weather events affect our roads. It can be an efficient and affordable way for people to move, and many New Zealanders want rail options. Tour for more information.

Who is organised this campaign?

Three organisations came together to support this campaign - the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), The Campaign for Better Transport, and The Future Is Rail. They were joined by other organisations like TRON, Generation Zero and GoEco and a large group of individuals in the Waikato Region who wanted to protect their train. If you want to contact us email or phone 022 154 9119.

Get involved.