Waka Kotahi welcomes the Government’s confirmation on the direction and funding commitment to deliver the NZ Upgrade Programme.
It means Waka Kotahi will now be able to fully deliver 16 significant projects across the country that have confirmed scopes, costs and timeframes and are designed to respond better to climate change and housing needs.
Communities can look forward to transport improvements that provide more travel choices and help people get where they’re going safely, as well as future proofing and growing our economy, while responding to the impacts of travel on the environment.
These projects include Otaki to North of Levin, the Northern Pathway, Penlink, Papakura to Drury South stage one, SH1/29 in the Waikato, Takitimu North Link stage one, SH58, Melling, and the Canterbury and Queenstown transport packages.
This is a major step forward from the initiation of the programme when a number of projects were still in their early stages of development, with detailed project information still being established.
To meet climate change and housing objectives, and manage debt responsibly following COVID-19, the Government has decided to make changes to a small number of projects.
They are Whangarei to Port Marsden Highway, Mill Road, Papakura to Drury South stage two and Takitimu North Link stage two.
It will take time to work through the next steps on the changed projects but Waka Kotahi will continue to work closely with partners, communities and potentially affected landowners on projects that are changing as we establish what this means for them.
While there are some changes to the programme, Waka Kotahi has continued to progress projects across the NZ Upgrade Programme. Construction is already underway on thirteen transport projects and an estimated 800 people are already working on 20 Waka Kotahi projects.
We’ve signed construction contracts worth about half a billion dollars and expect that to double within the next 12 months, subject to approvals and property negotiations.
Significant project development work has also been carried out on all New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects, including engaging with communities on designs and route alignments.
Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail have also completed significant work to get a better understanding of project risks, scope, costs and timeframes.