Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Skip to main content Skip to page navigation

What you need to know

Following the cancellation of Project iReX (to replace KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries with two new, large rail-enabled ships) the Government asked the Ministry to assess the long-term requirements for a resilient Cook Strait now and once the Interislander ferries have reached the end of their lives.

See here for more information from KiwiRail’s shareholding Ministers Hon Nicola Willis and Hon Paul Goldsmith.

The Ministry will consider transport connectivity between the islands and the needs of New Zealanders using the Cook Strait to identify any market failures. We will then consider a range of options to address them.

The Ministry’s assessment will complement that of the independent Ministerial Advisory Group established to provide additional independent assurance and advice on KiwiRail’s advice and work to operate, maintain and replace the fleet.

The first tranche of advice is expected in mid-2024 and advice on options to address any issues identified will be provided toward the end of the year.

The work to date


Proactive release 20th March 2024

This briefing was proactively released on the 20th of March 2024. 

More information and related documents