NZ Infra, a joint venture between the New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF) and Canada’s CDPQ Infra group, and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will both further develop their proposals, with a decision due to be made on the final design early next year.

The government announced in May that it had launched a procurement process for a two-line light rail network after NZSF submitted an unsolicited proposal offering to assess the viability of the project for commercial investment.

“What NZ Infra is proposing has never been considered before in New Zealand, based on a public-public investment model,” Minister of transport, Mr Phil Twyford, says. “This includes co-designing the asset with the government and its partners, with the majority of financing and risk transferred to NZ Infra.

“There are significant differences in how the two options would be financed and delivered. The NZTA is exploring a range of procurement, financing and delivery models, including alliances and public-private partnerships (PPP), and will continue to develop these.

“Both of these options for delivering light rail are credible, but neither are fully developed, and we need to understand the long-term implications. That step is critical for the government if we are to make the right decision on how best to deliver light rail for Auckland.”

Twyford said the processes will take up to six months, and will mean the project will not meet the 2020 start date originally proposed.

“I have asked the ministry of transport to manage this process, and to ensure that our Auckland Transport Alignment Project partners including Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are closely involved in this work over the coming months,” he says.

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