iReX project funding update
The KiwiRail Board was advised on 12 December 2023 by the Government that it has decided not to provide further funding for the iReX (Inter-Island Resilient Connection) project which included two new Interislander ferries and redevelopment of Picton and Wellington terminals.
Unfortunately, the project cannot proceed without further Government funding. The KiwiRail Board will now oversee the wind down of the project and review plans for the Cook Strait connection.
Read the KiwiRail media statement.
KiwiRail statement on Project iReX
13 Dec 2023
Attributable to David McLean, KiwiRail Chair
The KiwiRail Board was yesterday advised by the Government that it has decided not to provide further funding for the Inter-Island Resilient Connection (iReX) project.
Unfortunately, we cannot proceed without further Government funding. We respect the Government’s role as shareholder and funder to make this decision.
The Board will now oversee the wind down of the project and review our plans for the Cook Strait connection.
The Board acknowledges the disappointment of our team and stakeholders involved in this project. We sought a strong outcome for New Zealand through this project for a more resilient State Highway 1 across Cook Strait for exporters, domestic freight forwarders, tourism and domestic commuters.
We will work with the Government, our customers, ports and other stakeholders on the way forward. An alternative suitable long-term solution could take years to develop.
In the interim, KiwiRail will continue to invest in the safety and reliability of the existing Interislander fleet, through strong asset management practices.