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The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is investing $6.8 billion to get our cities moving, save lives and boost productivity.

Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 major projects for the upgrade programme that support a shift to greater transport choice with a balanced investment in public transport, new or upgraded roads and walking and cycling. KiwiRail is delivering six rail projects.

They are focused on upgrading transport infrastructure in our six main growth areas – Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown.

Construction has begun on the first stage of Papakura to Drury South project in Auckland and SH58 stage 2a safety improvements in Wellington. Other projects are at a range of stages from business case, route identification and design through to construction planning and tendering.

As well as construction starts, project development work has been carried out to get a better understanding of projects that were still in their early stages of development. We’ve also engaged with communities to get their input to further develop designs and preferred routes, as well as getting projects ready for construction.

The programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the economy and support the country as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

The programme is already supporting jobs and the economy, with about 800 people developing projects and getting them ready for construction. In addition, the Papakura to Drury South construction will see about 750 people working on the project, with about 100 on site at any one time. 

The number of jobs will grow as more contracts are awarded to complete project designs, finalise construction plans and get workers on site to start construction. About 1,400 direct full-time jobs are expected to be supported for each year of the programme. In total, an estimated 5,200 jobs will be supported, including the spin offs for the wider supply chain and in the economy as a result of increased spending.

Jobs and economic benefits

Safety is a big focus of these projects. Our new state highways will be built to a high standard to prevent deaths and serious injuries. The safety upgrades planned for existing roads will also play a big role in getting commuters home safely in the Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury. Investing in separated walking and cycling infrastructure will keep walkers and cyclists safe, as well as helping make our roads safer by reducing the numbers of cars on our roads.

The programme recognises the importance of reliable freight routes to get goods to market, develop new business opportunities and support economic growth. Upgrades in Canterbury, Central North Island freight hubs and the Upper North Island will help boost productivity and give workers safer routes to move goods.

Waka Kotahi is also delivering 19 regional state highway projects with funding of $88.25 million.

Find out more about the regional package