The $2.7 billion South Auckland package has changed to expand investment in new train stations, deliver a smaller scale northern section of Mill Road and invest in Drury transport upgrades that support releasing additional housing and connectivity with the stations.
The Government has decided to make the changes to meet climate change and housing objectives, as well as manage costs and debt responsibly following COVID-19.
Three new rail stations will now be built (two in Drury and one in Paerata). Papakura to Pukekohe rail electrification, State Highway 1 improvements and a shared walking/cycling path between Papakura and Drury, and the new third main rail line in South Auckland will continue to be delivered.
Construction is already underway on SH1 Papakura to Drury and KiwiRail’s third main rail line and enabling works are underway for Papakura to Pukekohe electrification. About 275 workers are on these projects and a further 800 part-time and full-time jobs are supported on Waka Kotahi New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects.
Mill Road will become a smaller scale project, with a focus on addressing safety issues. It is expected to involve an upgrade of two lanes instead of four between Flat Bush and Alfriston tying in the existing urban Redoubt Road dynamic lanes. There will also be targeted safety improvements between Alfriston and Papakura.
The existing proposals for Mill Road and Papakura to Drury South Stage Two (including a new interchange at Drury South) will be deferred.
Savings from these changes to Mill Road will allow investment in transport upgrades to release housing and local centres in Drury in a way that supports the Government’s decarbonisation goals.
The projects to be considered will include regional cycleways, arterial corridors that provide direct walking, cycling and/or bus access to stations and projects within or crossing state highway corridors to help release additional housing in Drury West.
Further investigations are needed to develop these projects and the smaller scale northern Mill Road project.
Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail are now working together to further develop these projects for consideration by ministers.
This will include confirming the scope, costs and timelines and carrying out economic analysis. The significant work already completed for the four-laning project will inform this development work.