Winston Peters, Shane Jones try to get ball rolling on Northland rail promise

New Zealand First MPs Winston Peters and Shane Jones are trying to get the ball rolling on a rail project they promised to Northlanders. 

The proposed upgrade will allow faster trains carrying larger export containers, forestry and tourism services to travel between Auckland and Whangarei's Northport. 

Speaking to media just south of Whangarei on Thursday, where geotechnical work has just finished on part of the proposed rail link, the pair gave assurances that things are moving forward. 

"The hardest thing is getting the money... get the money we have got," Deputy Prime Minister Mr Peters said. 

The work Mr Peters and Mr Jones were reporting on aims to determine just how hard it'll be to make NZ First's promise to Northland a reality. 

The business case is due in March, and then it'll be decided when building will begin. 

The work done has shown there's a long way to go, including considerable work on 13 tunnels and some bridges between Whangarei and Auckland.

It's a big promise from Wellington, and locals aren't holding their breath.