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Project Introduction

The City Centre to Māngere light rail will support Auckland’s sustainable growth by creating an integrated public transport system of light rail, heavy rail, ferries, buses and busways. It will connect communities along its route and improve people’s access to jobs, education and recreation.

  • Project type

    Public transport
  • Project status


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Update: March 2019

In May 2018, the Minister of Transport mandated the NZ Transport Agency to lead the delivery of the City Centre to Māngere Light Rail (CC2M) on an accelerated basis.

To prepare to deliver CC2M, the Transport Agency immediately established an integrated project team with Auckland Transport (AT), Auckland Council, and HLC to appropriately leverage the knowledge and skill sets of these organisations. The initial focus was to develop an indicative business case (IBC) by December 2018 in line with the Transport Agency's best practice guidelines to support an accelerated delivery of the project.

To meet this timeline, the Transport Agency and its partners adopted the scheme developed by AT within the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) and constrained development of the scheme to fit with the mandate of accelerated delivery.

An indicative business case (IBC) is being developed and shared with our project partners, including the Ministry of Transport (MoT), for review and feedback. Further work is required to progress the IBC to a detailed business case, including the completion of the MoT/Treasury review and key decisions from the Transport Agency Board.

The project team engaged with the Transport Agency Board while developing the CC2M IBC.

NZ Infra, being a joint venture of New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF) and CDPQ Infra have presented an unsolicited alternative approach to fund, design, build and operate light rail in Auckland, based on a public-public investment model.

This is currently being reviewed by the MoT and Treasury. The project team have been supporting this review.

Until the MoT and Treasury review of the NZ Infra unsolicited proposal is complete, key decisions arising from the IBC cannot be submitted to the Transport Agency Board for endorsement as it would be inappropriate to consider it in isolation.

To provide certainty as soon as possible the government requested the MoT and Treasury provide their advice on alternative funding, delivery and operating models in March 2019. Market engagement was temporarily deferred during this time. This advice has now been received by the Ministers and is being considered.

Parts of the indicative business case will be available on this website in the future, with some redactions for commercial sensitivities and to avoid undue harm to affected people as per the Privacy Act.


The NZ Transport Agency and its partners Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and HLC are working together to deliver the City Centre to Māngere light rail line that will connect two of Auckland’s fastest growing employment centres – the city centre and the airport – while connecting communities along its route. Light rail will support sustainable growth and urban regeneration, give people more choice about how they travel and create vibrant communities.

Project objectives:

  • Alleviate current and forecast bus capacity constraints in the city centre.
  • Light Rail will connect communities along the corridor including employment areas such as the city centre, Onehunga and Auckland Airport.
  • Unlock significant growth potential along the corridor, especially around Māngere, Onehunga and Mt Roskill.
  • Provide an attractive and reliable “one seat journey” for locations along the route between the city centre and the airport for travellers.


  • More reliable – as light rail runs on a dedicated corridor separated from other traffic.
  • Better access – easier for passengers to get on and off, compared to buses and heavy rail.
  • More choice and better connections – light rail connects seamlessly with other transport modes such as heavy rail, buses, and shared walking and cycling paths to give people more choice about how they get around their city.
  • Reduced bus congestion – without light rail, bus congestion on key arterials such as Dominion Road, will increase to levels that affect reliability.
  • Supports sustainable growth and enables urban development – the light rail network will support sustainable growth by enabling development of the land along the route, including housing and development that results in vibrant, liveable communities.
  • Improved amenity – light rail is an attractive, modern mode of transport that will help to create high amenity communities with better access to health services, jobs, schools and recreation.

Key features

The City Centre to Māngere Light Rail route will run along Queen Street in Auckland’s city centre, along Dominion Road, through Mount Roskill, Onehunga and Māngere to Auckland Airport.

  • Approximately 23km long with a set of tracks for each direction.
  • Runs mostly on existing road at street-level.
  • Significant structures likely in certain locations.
  •  Will run on some of New Zealand’s most iconic streets including Queen Street and Dominion Road.

City Centre:

Light rail is a high capacity public transport connection in and out of the city centre that makes good use of the space we have.

  • Convenient turn-up-and-go service.
  • Light rail and pedestrian priority along Queen Street.
  • Improved public amenity with zero emission public transport and enhanced streetscape.

Eden Valley (Dominion Road):

There will be:

  • Improved public amenity with zero emission public transport and improvements to village centres at Eden Valley and Balmoral making them more pedestrian and people focused, and more vibrant.
  • Improved connections to buses along main routes like Balmoral Road.

Mt Roskill:

Light rail will mean more public transport, more often and well connected to buses and walking and cycling. It will be easier for people to get where they want to go. Our partner HLC is developing a range of social, affordable and market housing in Mt Roskill.

There will be:

  • More people living in and moving around the area.
  • Regular light rail stops along Dominion Road, connecting to buses along Mt Albert Road.
  • A vibrant and attractive Mt Roskill town centre.
  • Transport will be able to support increased number of people living in the area.
  • Improved access and more choice for how we travel.


Light rail provides an opportunity to connect the existing transport hubs to provide a major transport interchange point for the city, and improve access to the City Centre and other communities.

There will be:

  • More people choosing to live in Onehunga with KiwiBuild underway and Panuku’s ‘Transform Onehunga’ project (600ha area).
  • Reliable trip to the airport (through priority at intersections).
  • Frequent turn-up-and-go service.

Māngere Bridge:

Light rail will be a convenient and well connected service accessible to everyone. For those that regularly travel to other areas along the route, it will mean you won’t need to rely on a car to get where you need to go.

Things considered as part of the business case:

  • View shafts to Māngere Mountain are important and are protected through the Auckland Unitary Plan.
  • Less publicly owned land available for redevelopment.


Light rail will provide quick and convenient access for people to get where they need to go – to work, home, education and leisure. Together with housing development underway and planned, Māngere will grow into an area that will have excellent travel choice and access.

There will be:

  • Reliable, convenient and cost effective access to and from the airport and city centre, and areas in between.
  • Stops located in areas where more people are going to be living.

Working with our partners

Our partnership with Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and HLC with clearly defined roles, accountabilities and decision making rights. Each party is accountable for decision making and results for their part of the project. Below is a brief outline of each party’s role in delivering the best outcomes for Aucklanders.

Auckland Council (AC):

  • Custodians of the Unitary Plan.
  • Lead the urban development framework, planning and decision making regarding corridor land use to optimise development opportunities aligned with light rail.
  • Regulatory consent and planning authority.

Auckland Transport (AT):

  • Is responsible for the integrated, multi-modal transport network.
  • Ensure practical and customer centric whole of transport system planning, design and operations.


  • Delivering the Auckland Housing Programme.
  • Delivering housing development opportunities to support growth particularly in Māngere and Mt Roskill.