The Government of New Zealand’s Cabinet has agreed to begin the procurement process for the rapid transit light rail network in the city of Auckland.
New Zealand Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced the decision.
The light rail project will transport up to 11,000 passengers per hour, the equivalent of four motorway lanes.
Robertson said: “The New Zealand Transport Agency will now set up a robust process to explore a range of possible procurement, financing and project delivery options.
“This process will invite and assess all potential proposals and report back to the Ministers of Finance and Transport.
“The Transport Agency will work with the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport in this process.”
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The procurement process will cover lines including the city to Mangere, as well as the city to the northwest.
Recently, the ten-year transport plan for Auckland had allocated NZ$1.8bn ($1.26bn) in seed funding, as well as including the option for private investment in the rail network.
The government also acknowledged that it has received an unsolicited proposal from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super Fund) to design, build and operate the Auckland’s light rail network by establishing an international consortium.
The NZ Transport Agency will follow standard procurement process agreed by the Cabinet and will review all proposals including the application of the NZ Super Fund.
In a statement, NZ Super Fund noted that it has identified CDPQ Infra as a potential partner to develop the project.