A new alliance is taking responsibility for planning and confirming around 60 transport projects to support growth in Auckland.
The Supporting Growth Alliance, Te Tupu Ngātahi (“to grow together as one”) is a collaboration between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT) to investigate and plan the transport network and support Auckland’s urban growth over the next 30 years.
The Alliance will support the initial development of growth areas in Warkworth, north, northwest and south Auckland. It is estimated that these areas will account for around 30 per cent of the region’s growth by 2050. In all, that’s about 15,000 hectares of greenfield or undeveloped land, with a capacity for 137,000 new homes and 67,000 new jobs.
All of the growth areas will build on Auckland’s proposed rapid transit network for the future, including Light Rail to the northwest.
A collaborative approach
As a collaborative consortium of government and professional service firms, the Alliance will be responsible for the whole approach to identifying and protecting routes for the transport network while providing efficiencies in the planning process.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford welcomes the certainty which the collaborative approach will bring.
“Previously we haven’t been able to provide certainty to communities, landowners and other stakeholders about transport infrastructure to support development. Now we can start to answer some of their questions.”
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Over the next ten years, we’re undertaking the largest ever investment in Auckland’s transport infrastructure, it will unlock new areas for development. The Alliance will ensure projects can get underway and be delivered on time, providing certainty for developers and our local communities.”
Since 2015, NZTA, AT and Auckland Council have been working to identify the preferred transport network to support growth. With the Alliance there will be a team to collectively guide the process of transport investment, statutory protection, consenting and development.
The aim is to protect the full network over the next five years, with projects staged for funding allocation and delivery over the next two decades.
Critical transport projects underway
While most projects are being delivered by the Alliance, several other priority projects are already progressing through consenting and business case development. These include:
- the Matakana Link Road at Warkworth
- Dairy Flat Highway safety improvements
- safety and efficiency improvements on State Highway 16 and State Highway 22
- SH1 Papakura to Bombay project
Mr Goff says we’re not waiting around. “Critical transport projects are already underway including the Matakana Link Road which deals with congestion in this fast-growing area and is made possible by funding provided by the regional fuel tax.”
The Alliance is partnering with mana whenua, KiwiRail and Auckland Council’s land use planning and infrastructure teams to develop an integrated response to growth that is aligned to the wider regional plans being developed for the city.
“One of the main aims is to plan and design future communities that are well connected with public transport, facilities and employment so they are great places to live, work and play,” says Mr Twyford.
Mr Goff says, “Council and the government are working together to deliver infrastructure that supports future generations of Aucklanders.”
Early estimates for the cost of transport improvements over the next 30 years to support the growth areas are approximately $8bn-$10bn, with funding from both public and some private sources.
Consulting with communities and stakeholders
An early role for the Alliance will be to consult with communities and various stakeholders to assess options and opportunities and develop recommended corridors.
There will be a staged rollout of community consultations in each local growth area, starting in Warkworth, Dairy Flat and Silverdale next month.
The Supporting Growth programme aligns with the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), a collaboration between Auckland Council and the Government which recommends a strategic approach to transport investment in Auckland. It also supports Auckland Council’s Future Urban Land Supply Strategy (FULSS), which sets out the order in which land is supplied for development in future growth areas.
Along with NZTA and AT, Te Tupu Ngātahi includes consultancies AECOM and Beca and legal providers Bell Gully and Buddle Findlay.
Further details about the Supporting Growth programme, including detail on the transport project options being considered and dates for community consultation, are available at supportinggrowth.govt.nz