Project

Auckland Light Rail

PROJECT STATUS
Detailed Planning
Auckland Light Rail

The Auckland light rail network is expected to comprise two major lines within the next decade.

The first line will link the CBD to Auckland Airport. This comprises approximately 24 kilometres of dual light rail line, with rolling stock and operation of the line also to be procured. The New Zealand Goverment has endorsed a route option that sees the line tunnelled from the City Centre to Mt Roskill before extending above ground to the Auckland Airport business precinct.

The second line, the North West Line is proposed to run between the City Centre and Waimauku. The line is flagged for construction following completion of the City centre to Airport line. The North West line is proposed to follow State Highway 16, however route options are still subject to further investigation.

Key Dates

Sep 2017 Project Announcement

PROJECT HISTORY

Jan 2016 The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) Recommended Strategic Approach noted the need to preserve a mass transit corridor between the city and airport within the first decade and construct it in the second decade.
Aug 2017 An update to the ATAP Strategic Approach was released, which identified the need to accelerate investment into a mass transit solution in the next decade, starting with a circa NZ$700 million route between the City Centre and Mt Roskill (advanced bus or light rail). The total cost of the solution was estimated at up to $1.2 billion. The ATAP update also noted NZ$500 million has been allocated over the next 10 years towards route protection and early stages of construction.
Sep 2017 The newly elected NZ Government committed to constructing a light rail network known as the "Congestion Free Network Two", which was proposed by Greater Auckland (formerly TransportBlog).
Dec 2017 The NZ Government indicated it would consider utilising a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to deliver the light rail project.
Apr 2018 The updated Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) report proposed that $1.8 billion would be allocated to developing the CBD to Airport (Māngere) and North-Western light rail lines, noting there is opportunity to explore third party funding and financing arrangements to develop the project.
May 2018 The Government received an unsolicited proposal to design, build and operate the project from NZ Infra, a consortium including the NZ Superannuation Fund and CDPQ Infra - an infrastructure subsidiary of the Canadian pension fund. Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) was asked to report back to the Government with their advice in March 2019. NZ Infra's proposal is ostensibly a PPP whereby the project would be co-designed with Government and its partners, with the majority of financing and risk transferred to NZ Infra. NZTA is exploring a range of procurement, financing and delivery models, which includes alliances and PPPs.
Jul 2018 NZTA held an Industry briefing which included information on the overall project, anticipated timelines, major milestones and market engagement process. The briefing was followed by market engagement meetings in Auckland and Sydney, leading to a market engagement summary report scheduled to be provided to the industry in September.
Aug 2018 Registrations of Interest for planning and engineering services for the City to Airport line were open from 13 to 23 August 2018.
Jan 2019 NZTA announced Carl Devlin would lead the Auckland Light Rail project.
Aug 2019 The NZ Government announced that NZ Infra and NZTA had been asked to continue developing their proposals over the next four to six months for delivery of the City Centre to Airport line. A decision on the preferred procurment approach proposed by NZ Infra and NZTA will be made by the NZ Government in early 2020. Construction is therefore not expected to start until at least 2021.
Jun 2020 The NZ Government decided not to appoint a preferred proponent for the Auckland Light Rail and ended the procurement process for the project. Government parties were unable to reach agreement on a preferred proposal. The project was referred to the Ministry of Transport for additional work. The government announced that a final decision on the future of the Auckland Light Rail would be made after the general election in September 2020.
Mar 2021 The 2021-31 Auckland Transport Alignment Project investment package restated a NZ$1.8 billion (A$1.7 billion) funding commitment for Auckland Light Rail, with a priority given for the City to Māngere (Airport) corridor.
Mar 2021 The NZ Government announced an Establishment Unit housed within Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to develop a business case for the project. The business case is to inform the New Zealand Government on key decisions on the project by late 2021, including mode, route, costs, and funding and financing options. The Establishment Unit is also tasked with determining whether City Rail Link or a new joint venture with Auckland Council will be best placed to deliver the project. Led by an independent Chair, the Establishment Unit will comprise the local government, key agencies and community and Māori representatives.
Apr 2021 The New Zealand Government have appointed an independent chair to the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit.
Sep 2021 Following a technical assessment, light rail has been confirmed as the preferred transport mode over trackless trams for the transport corridor between Auckland and Māngere.
Oct 2021 The New Zealand Government released the project's indicative business case which outline tunnelled light rail as the preferred option for the transport corrdior between the City Centre and Māngere. The business case outlines the Tunnelled light rail as an 18 stop network, with an approximate cost of NZ$10.4 billion.
Oct 2021 The New Zealand Government and Auckland Council released an ‘indicative business case’ for Auckland Light Rail, detailing the preferred option for the Auckland CBD to Māngere line. Developed by the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit, the business case indicates tunnelled light rail is the preferred option for the corridor. This would see an 18 station NZ$14.6 billion (A$14 billion) network constructed between Wynyard Quarter and the airport business precinct, with a tunnelled section between Wynyard Quarter and Mt Roskill.
Jan 2022 The New Zealand Government selected the Auckland Light Rail route, endorsing a partially-tunnelled 24km light rail from Auckland CBD to the Auckland International Airport. The tunnelled light rail segment will run underground from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, and the surface light rail segment from Mt Roskill to Auckland Airport.
Major Contract

Auckland Light Rail - City to Mt Roskill

PROJECT STATUS
Prospective
Auckland Light Rail - City to Mt Roskill

The circa-22 kilometre first light rail line between the CBD and Auckland Airport is expected to be split into two sections:

  • CBD to Mt Roskill, and
  • Mt Roskill to the Airport. 

Rolling stock and operation of the line will also be procured, however contract composition is not yet known.

PROJECT HISTORY

May 2018 NZ Infra, a consortium comprising NZ Super and CDPQ submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the line.
May 2018 The 2018 Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) report announced the allocation of $1.8 billion towards the development of both light rail lines. It is unclear what the funding split will be between the different sections of the network.
Aug 2019 The NZ Government announced that the NZ Infra joint venture and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) had been asked to continue developing their proposals for delivery of the City Centre to Airport line over the over the course of late 2019 for delivery of the City Centre to Airport line. A decision on the preferred procurement approach proposed by NZ Infra and NZTA is expected to be made by the NZ Government in early 2020. Construction is not expected to start until at least 2021.
Jun 2020 The NZ Government decided not to appoint a preferred proponent for the Auckland Light Rail and ended the procurement process for the project. Government parties were unable to reach agreement on a preferred proposal. The project was referred to the Ministry for Transport for additional work. The government announced that a final decision on the future of the Auckland Light Rail would be made after the general election in September 2020.
Sector
Rail
Procurement approach
Possible PPP | Unconfirmed |
Location
New Zealand |
Resources
Project website
Auckland Light Rail
Major Contract

Auckland Light Rail - Mt Roskill to Airport

PROJECT STATUS
Prospective
Auckland Light Rail - Mt Roskill to Airport

The Mt Roskill to Airport section of the light rail line is proposed to follow State Highways 20 and 20A. The 2018 Auckland Transport Alignment Project report notes that some sections of the proposed route overlap with an existing rail designation.

The circa 22-kilometre first line between the CBD to Auckland Airport is expected to be split into two sections – CBD to Mt Roskill and Mt Roskill to the Airport. Rolling stock and operation of the line will also be procured however contract composition is not yet known.

PROJECT HISTORY

May 2018 The 2018 Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) report announced the allocation of $1.8 billion towards the development of both light rail lines. It is unclear what the funding split will be between the different sections of the network.
May 2018 NZ Infra, a consortium comprising NZ Super and CDPQ submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the line.
Aug 2019 The NZ Government announced that the NZ Infra joint venture and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) had been asked to continue developing their proposals for delivery of the City Centre to Airport line over the over the course of late 2019 for delivery of the City Centre to Airport line. A decision on the preferred procurement approach proposed by NZ Infra and NZTA is expected to be made by the NZ Government in early 2020. Construction is not expected to start until at least 2021.
Jun 2020 The NZ Government decided not to appoint a preferred proponent for the Auckland Light Rail and ended the procurement process for the project. Government parties were unable to reach agreement on a preferred proposal. The project was referred to the Ministry of Transport for additional work. The government announced that a final decision on the future of the Auckland Light Rail would be made after the general election in September 2020.
Sector
Rail
Procurement approach
Possible PPP | Unconfirmed |
Location
New Zealand |
Resources
Project website
Auckland Light Rail