The Puhoi to Warkworth motorway partnership between the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Northern Express Group has accelerated investment in critical infrastructure for North Auckland and Northland, while protecting the taxpayer from construction blowouts, says Stephen Selwood chief executive of the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development.
The consortium of ACC, HRL Morrison & Co, Macquarie, Fletchers and Spanish construction giant Acciona has become the preferred bidder to construct the 18.5 km Road of National Significance.
We can now expect construction to get underway on this vital link by early 2017, perhaps a decade or more faster than if the project had been constrained by traditional funding limitations.
In leveraging private finance, the road will get built sooner, bringing forward the benefit of improved connectivity for areas north of Auckland.
By tying private capital to the deal, NZTA will be guaranteed a fit for purpose road for 25 years and problems which arise will be absorbed by the private consortium and not shifted onto taxpayers.
Enabling this project to proceed as a PPP is a big step forward for the economy of Northland, which, when the motorway is complete, will enjoy faster and safer access to its major markets. Northerners can expect immediate and sustained investment in their communities, just as those living north of Wellington have experienced since Transmission Gully was announced.
The opportunity now will be to develop a plan to further extend the motorway north, ultimately to Whangarei," Selwood says.
For further comment, please contact Stephen on 021-791 209