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A $2.6 billion boost for Auckland and New Zealand

4 August 2017


A $2.6 billion boost for Auckland and New Zealand

"The Government’s $2.6 billion commitment to Auckland’s overwhelmed transport system is a well-balanced package of investment in road, rail and bus. Combined with consents for the East-West strategic link, expected later this year, this will deliver benefits inside and outside the boundaries of our largest city," says the CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand, Stephen Selwood.

A billion dollars has been committed to developing the Mill Rd corridor, which will duplicate a large portion of State Highway 1, freeing up New Zealand’s most important freight corridor and providing for new housing development.

A further $100 million has been allocated to construction of a third rail line through the busiest part of the rail network. Recent analysis has shown this will deliver a strong economic benefit by improving freight access to and from port facilities and reducing interruption to commuter services.

"Both these projects are about reducing the choking effect Auckland is having on national transport movements and will deliver wider supply chain benefits to the national economy.

"The remaining and greater share of the investment is to be committed to rapid transit in the west, east and south via a new busway to growth areas in the north-west, an injection into the long delayed AMETI eastern busway and electrification of rail from Papakura to Pukekohe.

"This is a comprehensive response to NZIER’s finding that congestion is costing all of New Zealand around $2 billion every year.

"One project not featured in today’s announcement is the critical East-West Link. We’ve all experienced the positive benefit of the Waterview Connection, but the only new strategic capacity we’re assuming on the isthmus over the next 30 years is the East-West Link.

"This vital corridor will deliver almost $2 of benefit for every dollar invested by opening up New Zealand’s most important industrial zone.

"These benefits do not even include the resilience of connecting State Highway 1 and State Highway 20, the value of retaining long term capability to connect further east or the environmental benefits of fixing up a former rubbish dump on the edge of the Manukau harbour.

"It is vital that resource consents for this project are granted. Once in place, the East-West Link and other projects announced today will have a lasting positive impact on movements to, from, through and within our largest city," Selwood says.

ENDS

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