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Over a thousand workers getting infrastructure back on track

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for State Owned Enterprises

Hon Phil Twyford
Minister of Transport
MP for Te Atatū

Over a thousand workers getting infrastructure back on track today

Over a thousand road and rail workers are back to work today to help kick-start the post-lockdown economy and get New Zealand moving, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister of Transport Phil Twyford announced today.

KiwiRail will have works start back up on almost all of their projects today, including the Kaikōura rebuild and Wellington metro upgrades. New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project City Rail Link starts back up today as well.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has approved the start up plans and works will restart this week on 25 of the 44 state highway projects in the construction phase around the country, including Transmission Gully and Pūhoi to Warkworth. All state highway and rail projects are expected to have works restart next Monday.

Winston Peters said the Government is getting the record infrastructure build back up and running as soon as possible to help support workers and businesses and kick-start economic activity.

“We’ve worked hard to help cushion the blow from COVID-19 with initiatives like the wage subsidy and advance payments to transport contractors; and we know the industry is now raring to go.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is and getting people back to work day one of Alert Level 3 so we can get money into the pockets of businesses and workers sooner,” Winston Peters said.

Phil Twyford said it’s been a real team effort getting projects ready to restart.

“I’d like to thank the industry, Waka Kotahi, City Rail Link Ltd and KiwiRail for their efforts which will see well over 1,000 construction workers back on the job this week. For example, the Kaikōura rebuild will see around 450 road and rail workers back to work, City Rail Link expects 400 workers back this week, and Transmission Gully and Pūhoi to Warkworth will ramp back up to hundreds of workers at each.

“Major infrastructure projects like these and those contained in the New Zealand Upgrade programme will help provide much needed stimulus to the economy and guaranteed jobs.

“Moving to Alert Level 3 does not mean a return to pre-pandemic ways of working. Strict health and safety protocols are being followed at every site to keep workers and the public safe. These include restricting access to sites, requirements for workers to maintain physical distancing and the use of additional protective clothing.

“It’s too soon to say whether COVID-19 has had any effect on construction timeframes on individual projects. My expectation is that project teams will look at accelerating works where possible,” Phil Twyford said.

Media contact for Winston Peters: Alex Masters 021 809 186
Media contact for Phil Twyford: Tom James 027 308 6010

Capital Projects/UpgradesWhen physical work resumingWhat workStaff numbers returning to work
Wellington Metro Upgrades/Renewals:

Mast/line replacement

Trentham – UH double tracking

Catch up track renewals on Wairarapa Line

From 28/4

From 28/4

From 4/5

Checking for buried services, drilling and pouring foundations, standing masts, Melling Line rewiring and Melling Junction rewiring

Site preparation, earthworks (off line – trains running)

Site investigations, including digging test pits in preparation for later works

40, increasing to 70 (during blocks of line) after second week

10 in first week, rising to 20

Less than 5
Main North Line – Kaikoura rebuild (NCTIR - KiwiRail and NZTA)

Additional Kaikoura projects:
Progressively over the week starting 28/4

From 28/4

From 28/4
Road and rail – 42 sites on MNL and highways

Track works

Tunnel 21 bypass
Approx. 450 (across rail and road) returning to work or re-mobilising


City Rail LinkFrom 28/4Construction works200 ramping up to 400 over the week
Transmission GullyFrom 28/4Construction worksRamping up to approx. 650 by next week
Pūhoi to WarkworthFrom 28/4Construction worksRamping up to approx. 400 by next week
Northland Rail revitalisation (PGF)From 4/5Rail transfer10
Hamilton – Auckland commuter service

From 28/4

From 28/4

Work on Te Rapa Passenger Carriage Maintenance facility

Surveying for wash system and stabling works preparation at Westfield (South Auckland)


Bridge 190 (Main South Line)From 28/4Bridge works10
Bridge 91 (East Coast Main Trunk line)From 28/4Bridge works10
Bridge 105 (ECMT)From 28/4Bridge works10
Bridge 13 (Main North Line)From 28/4Bridge works10
Bridge 229 (North Island Main Trunk Line)From 28/4Bridge works10
Waimiha slip repair (NIMT)From 28/4Bridge works10
Woburn Workshops Upgrades:
Plant 2 refurbishment

From 28/4
From 28/4

Seismic strengthening works
Continuing site investigations

Waltham Scenic Journey Service CentreFrom 28/4Construction works10-15
Palmerston North Drop PitFrom 28/4Construction works2-4

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