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Thu September 19 2019

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Two shortlisted for Auckland light rail

22 Aug New Zealand’s government has chosen two preferred delivery partners to set out their approaches for Auckland’s planned multi-billion-dollar light rail line.

A JV of Arup and Jacobs created an indicative reference design for light rail in Auckland
A JV of Arup and Jacobs created an indicative reference design for light rail in Auckland

NZ Infra - a joint venture between the New Zealand Super Fund and Canada’s CDPQ Infra group - and the NZ Transport Agency will continue developing their proposals. A final decision on who will build the infrastructure will be made early next year.

Minister of transport Phil Twyford said that light rail will be a game-changer for 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,” he said. “We have to make sure that it will be fit for purpose for generations to come, that’s why we’re taking the time to examine the different proposals in detail and get it right.

“What NZ Infra is proposing has never been considered before in New Zealand, based on a public-public investment model. This includes co-designing the asset with the government and its partners, with the majority of financing and risk transferred to NZ Infra.”

There are significant differences in how the two options would be financed and delivered, he said. “The NZTA is exploring a range of procurement, financing and delivery models, including alliances and public-private partnerships, and will continue to develop these.

“Both of these options for delivering light rail are credible, but neither are fully developed, and we need to understand the long-term implications.  That step is critical for the Government if we are to make the right decision on how best to deliver light rail for Auckland.”

Twyford said that 2020 is the earliest that spades could be in the ground. “But it will provide us with the certainty we need to progress a multi-billion-dollar project which will transform Auckland,” he said.

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