The government has moved one step closer towards the Northport proposal, but with a strong message it will work much more closely with key partners like the port owners and operators.
Cabinet ministers want more work done on the proposal to move Auckland's freight operations progressively to Northland.
The recommendation is from the working group established to consider the best configuration for the upper North Island ports.
The Transport Ministry will now do more work on funding and financing options, governance and commercial considerations, and a range of other factors.
RNZ political Jane Patterson has the story.