Maori Party proposes $350 million IwiRail

The Māori Party wants to put $350 million into a new rail scheme called IwiRail, which it says will open up the regions to freight and tourism.

Party president Tuku Morgan said the public-private partnership programme could generate thousands of jobs across the regions.

IwiRail would take over leases on existing KiwiRail lines that have been mothballed and work with iwi to build new connections.

The scheme would begin in the Napier and Gisborne region.

Party co-leader Marama Fox says building rail for freight, passengers and tourism will allow investment to flow and has the potential to add a billion dollars to the nation's balance sheets.

Mr Morgan said the party would seek $350 million in post-election coalition negotiations to fund the policy.

NZN / Newshub.