NZ Upgrade Programme revs up economic recovery


Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the start of construction on the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s Papakura to Drury South project on Auckland’s Southern Motorway, which will create hundreds of jobs and support Auckland’s economic recovery.

The SH1 Papakura to Drury South project will give more transport choices by providing a third lane in each direction, a shared path alongside the western side which will link in with the city-wide network, wide shoulders for future bus services and improved local road connections across the motorway.

Michael Wood said the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP) is part of the Government’s plan to create jobs and boost the economy to help our COVID-19 economic recovery.

“About 750 construction staff are expected to be working at some point on the first stage of Papakura to Drury South. Around 110 people are already working on the project, helping to boost South Auckland’s economy.

“This project will mean a quicker and safer commute for many, as well as make the route more resilient with enhanced flood and seismic protections. The shared path will give more people the option to leave the car at home, helping to reduce congestion.

“The second Auckland, and thirteenth overall, NZUP transport project starting construction is a significant milestone for the programme, which is investing more than $6.8 billion in road, rail, public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure to get our cities moving, save lives and future-proof the economy.

“NZUP will play a vital role in our economic recovery. Our transport investments will have major flow on effects – it’ll support around 1,400 direct full-time jobs for each year of the programme and support an estimated 5,200 jobs in the wider supply chain and economy.

“Other NZUP projects, including SH1/Walnut Ave in Ashburton and stage one of Takitimu North Link in Tauranga, are expected to start construction this year. Work is well underway on Auckland’s third main rail line project as well as enabling works for the electrification of the rail line between Papakura and Pukekohe,” Michael Wood said.

The Papakura to Drury South project will be consented and constructed in phases over the next five years. The first stage works are within the existing motorway boundaries from the north side of Papakura interchange to the BP motorway service centre north of Otūwairoa (Slippery) Creek. They will extend additional lanes being investigated for potential use for T3 and/or freight. Further stages will be lodged and consented progressively in 2021 and 2022.