New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail has announced that two new railway stations in Southern Auckland have received planning consent.

According to a statement, Drury Central and Paerata stations secured the approval under fast-track provisions of the Covid recovery legislation.

In October last year, KiwiRail submitted planning approval applications for the two stations.

KiwiRail is the lead agency for three stations planned between Papakura and Pukekohe and will work by collaborating with Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi.

The third station is planned at Drury West.

Funding for the three train stations will be provided by the Government of New Zealand under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Construction of three new train stations is part of KiwiRail’s $993m (NZ$1.5bn) suite of projects to upgrade the rail network in Auckland.

The new train stations will feature bus interchanges, bicycle and walking connections, bicycle parking as well as accessways and park and ride car parks.

Drury Central and Paerata stations slated for completion in early 2025. Drury West stations completion is planned later in 2025, subject to the outcome of planning and other hearings.

KiwiRail acting chief executive David Gordon said: “With more than 100,000 people expected to move into the area over the next 30 years, the stations and our project to electrify the railway between Papakura and Pukekohe, will provide them with better access to public transport.”

Apart from three new stations and electrification project, general upgrades will be carried out across the network with third main track is being built to ease congestion between Wiri and Westfield.

The upgrades and the City Rail Link are estimated to further increase the capacity for passenger services across the network and would help in reducing carbon emissions in Auckland.