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Auckland identifies 73 'shovel-ready' projects to begin immediately after Covid-19 lockdown ends

Seventy-three priority projects have been selected by the Auckland Council as “shovel-ready”, which means they can be worked on immediately after the lockdown to help stimulate the economy and reduce the economic impact of Covid-19.

Construction of the City Rail Link (CRL) project on Albert Street in Auckland. Source: Luke Appleby/1 NEWS

The list of projects were submitted to the infrastructure industry reference group, a taskforce set up by the Government to seek out infrastructure projects to be worked on.

The list includes 30 key projects ranked in order of priority and a further 43 projects that are not ranked but that also meet the Government criteria.

“The 30 key projects are ready to go and fully meet the Government’s criteria," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said in a statement. "They will help stimulate the economy and employment and produce long-term benefits for both the city and country. They reflect the economic, social and environmental objectives that both Auckland Council and the Government have committed to.” 

Many of the projects included in the submission were already underway or were to begin within the next six to 12 months before being put on hold following the nationwide shutdown, including the City Rail Link, the Eastern Busway and the Puhinui Interchange.

Other projects submitted to the infrastructure industry reference group include: the Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme, North Western Busway improvements, Rosedale Bus Station, Te Whau Pathway, Puhinui Stream Restoration Programme, Marae Upgrade Programme, and works to enable Kāinga Ora housing projects in Northcote, Tamaki and Mt Roskill.

“Prior to Covid-19, Auckland Council was on track to deliver a capital works programme exceeding $2 billion for the financial year,” Mr Goff said.

“As the region with a third of the nation’s population and almost 40 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product, Auckland Council’s current and planned infrastructure programme will be absolutely critical to the success of this stimulus initiative.

“I am confident that we are ready and able to play our part in partnership with the Government and the construction industry.”

Chair of the planning committee, Councillor Chris Darby, said the projects are not only “shovel-ready”, but also “future-ready”.

“This once-in-a-generation investment will create jobs for Aucklanders who will build an enduring legacy for the city,” he said.