2021 Diversity Awards NZ 

Infrastructure New Zealand members Downer New Zealand and Warren and Mahoney have been recognised for their commitment to diversity at the 2021 Diversity Awards NZ. 

Downer New Zealand received the Leadership Award (Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended) in recognition of its efforts to create a culture where difference is communicated, celebrated and included. Downer has developed initiatives to increase and value diversity, attract employees in a competitive workplace, and increase diversity at the leadership level.  

Warren and Mahoney received the Diverse Talent Award (Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended) for taking steps to hire and support more women since 2017, and introducing measures to increase the number of Māori and Pasifika in the organisation. The firm has also improved its hiring processes and enhanced its flexible working practices. 

Ka pai to both companies on this recognition. 

Transmission Gully delayed further 

Wellington’s Transmission Gully was due to open on 27 September, but its opening has now been delayed, again. 

Transmission Gully is New Zealand’s first motorway to be constructed under a public-private partnership contract. The Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP) was awarded the contract to design, construct, finance, and then operate and maintain the new motorway for 25 years. 

WGP and its subcontractor CPB HEB Joint Venture have advised Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency that the recent Covid-19 lockdown, Alert Level 3 restrictions, and supply chain constraints as a result of the extended lockdown in Auckland have impacted their ability to meet the contractually agreed opening date. 

A new opening date for the motorway has yet to be confirmed. 

Auckland’s new rail operator from 2022   

Auckland Transport has awarded the tender for Auckland’s passenger rail operations to Auckland One Rail. 

Auckland One Rail is a joint venture comprising ComfortDelGro Transit Pte Ltd (CDGT) and UGL Rail Pty Ltd (UGL Rail) in a 50:50 equity relationship. 

CDGT’s parent, CDG, is one of the world’s largest multi-modal passenger transport providers, with a footprint in seven countries, more than 24,000 employees and a turnover of NZ$3.4 billion in 2020. CDG, through its subsidiary SBS Transit, is the operator and maintainer of two Singapore mass rapid transit lines and a light rail system. 

UGL Rail’s parent, UGL, is Australia’s largest supplier of outsourced rail asset management and rolling stock maintenance services, with a fleet of more than 2,000 rail vehicles across its Australian rolling stock maintenance contracts. UGL is also consortium partner in Metro Trains Melbourne, Metro Trains Sydney, Canberra light rail and the operator of Adelaide’s light rail system. 

AOR will be responsible for train operations as well as electric train maintenance, station operations and maintenance, safety, and security. AOR will also establish an additional rolling stock maintenance facility for train overhauls in South Auckland with targeted employment of Māori and Pasifika into trades and engineering apprenticeships. This complements the existing facility at Wiri. 

The unsuccessful tenderer was Aka Tangata Ltd (ATL), a consortium comprising Transdev NZ Ltd, John Holland NZ Ltd and CAF NZ Ltd. Transdev’s passenger rail contract has been in place since 2004 and, following several extensions, expires in March 2022. 

The new contract is worth around $130 million a year and has an initial term of eight years. 

Official cash rate set to rise in October 

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is almost certain to raise the official cash rate (OCR) early next month. An increase of 25 basis points is widely expected with further identical hikes possible thereafter. The Reserve Bank was likely to increase the OCR by 50 basis points in August, which it only held off due to the challenges of communicating a hike at the same time New Zealand went into a national lockdown. 

9 August power blackout – phase one review complete 

Last month’s edition of InfraRead covered the 9 August electricity cuts and the subsequent announcement of a review by the Electricity Authority. Phase one of that review is now complete. 

The Electricity Authority has published a report attributing the failure primarily to shortcomings in Transpower’s communications processes and its load shed and restore decision support tool. The authority’s report also makes several recommendations. Transpower has begun implementing some of the recommendations and the process to implement other recommendations is expected to commence soon. It has already made improvements to its communications processes and suspended use of the load shed and restore decision support tool. The Electricity Authority’s report and Transpower’s response to the report can be accessed here. 

The Electricity Authority is progressing phase two of its review, which has a broader scope. 

Low Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Event – 20 October 

We have just launched our next event, Low Emission Vehicles Infrastructure, scheduled to be held virtually on 20 October. 

The Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Wood, will deliver the keynote address and we have an exciting line-up of speakers and panellists to explore this very relevant topic. 

We look forward to you joining us on 20 October. A reminder there is no cost to attending this event. If you have not already received an invite, please reach out to Paige Hallam at paige.hallam@infrastructure.org.nz to assist you with the registration process. 

We thank the China Construction Bank for sponsoring this event.