Government confirms City Rail Link funding

  • Simon Bridges
  • Steven Joyce
Transport Finance

The Government has agreed to fund half the cost of Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL), Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have announced.

The Government and Auckland Council today signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Crown will fund 50 per cent of the CRL. The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $2.8 billion and $3.4 billion, and the Crown will make its 50 per cent funding progressively available once a Sponsors’ Agreement is in place.

“In January this year, the Prime Minister announced the Government would accelerate delivery of the CRL to help address Auckland’s transport issues. This agreement is an important milestone in the project and it underlines the Government’s commitment to keeping Auckland moving,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Heads of Agreement sets out in-principle commitments from Government and Auckland Council, and contains broader funding, governance and risk management arrangements.

“The Heads of Agreement also outlines arrangements for establishing an independent Special Purpose Entity to deliver the CRL, working with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and others as necessary.”

A more detailed Sponsors’ Agreement will be developed in the coming months to give effect to the Crown’s and Council’s commitments. The Government will start to make the Crown funding available once this is in place – which may be as early as 2017.

Once complete, the CRL will be one of New Zealand’s largest-ever transport projects. The 3.4 kilometre underground train line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland through the CBD to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.

“CRL is one of Auckland’s top transport priorities It will double the capacity of the metro rail network and provide significant travel time savings for commuters, particularly those travelling from fast-growing western suburbs,” Mr Bridges says.

“The Government’s commitment to the CRL has been driven by strong growth in rail patronage in recent years and the need to provide investment certainty for large-scale property developments around Auckland’s CBD, including around the new and improved stations at Aotea Square, Karangahape Road and Mount Eden,” Mr Bridges says.

“The investment in City Rail Link reflects the Government’s strong commitment to meeting Auckland’s transport needs, with improvements to the transport network focused on accommodating the growing population as well as supporting ongoing economic growth,” Mr Bridges says.