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Contractors welcome Auckland tunnel announcement

7 February 2008

Contractors welcome Auckland tunnel announcement

The New Zealand Contractors’ Federation has welcomed Government plans to ensure the Western Ring Route is completed on schedule by speeding up deliberations around the massive Waterview Connection project.

CEO Richard Michael said: “The Government’s decision to advance the Waterview Connection Project is very positive.

“It is a crucial part of the Western Ring Route, which is vital to Auckland’s overall infrastructure and the sooner it is built the better.”

However, Mr Michael called for the scheme, predicted to cost up to $2.3 billion and to be the country’s most expensive transport project, to become part of a 20-year national infrastructure plan.

“This is a massive project and is going to use a lot of resources,” he said. “There is immense talent in the civil construction industry in New Zealand and we are confident that Kiwi ingenuity will provide solutions to allow the tunnel to be built on time and under budget.

“We would like to see it become part of a 20-year national infrastructure plan. At present infrastructure planning for this country is ad hoc. To get the best from our scarce resources in the future, New Zealand needs to better co-ordinate projects, particularly very major ones like this.

“Taking a long-term look at all the infrastructure requirements gives government and communities time to get used to what these projects will mean and allows industry to build the resource base needed to get the job done.

“Certainty of funding and work programme would allow the industry to deliver such projects on time and at the best possible price. A training plan should form part of any procurement process.”


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