“The Government is committed to progressing light rail to transform Auckland. It will be a magnet for private investment in urban renewal and will be able to carry 11,000 commuters per hour – the equivalent of four lanes of motorway,” said transport minister Phil Twyford. “We are investigating innovative solutions to tackle congestion and build a vibrant and modern city.”
Finance minister Grant Robertson added: “The New Zealand Transport Agency will now set up a robust process to explore a range of possible procurement, financing and project delivery options. This process will invite and assess all potential proposals and report back to the ministers of finance and transport. The Transport Agency will work with the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport in this process.”
The procurement process covers both the city to Mangere and the city to North West lines. The recently announced 10-year transport plan for Auckland earmarked NZ$1.8bn (£925m) in seed funding with the option of securing private investment in the network.
“Last month, the Government received an unsolicited proposal from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which proposed they would form an international consortium to design, build and operate Auckland’s light rail network,” said Twyford. “The Government will not be commenting further on the proposal other than to say that we welcome the strong interest in light rail and acknowledge that any investors will require a reasonable commercial return. The procurement process agreed by Cabinet will review all other proposals in the same way as the Super Fund’s proposal is assessed."