NZ Super Fund could build Auckland light rail

Light rail for Auckland has moved a step closer on Wednesday and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund could be in charge.

The Government has agreed to launch a procurement process, and says it's received an "unsolicited proposal" from the fund.

"Last month, the Government received an unsolicited proposal from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which proposed they would form an international consortium to design, build and operate Auckland's light rail network," Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.

"The Government will not be commenting further on the proposal other than to say that we welcome the strong interest in light rail and acknowledge that any investors will require a reasonable commercial return."

NZ Super Fund could build Auckland light rail
Photo credit: Auckland Transport

Under the new Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), $1.8 billion has been set aside for light rail, however this still requires outside investment.

The procurement process covers both the city to Mangere and the city to North West lines

"The New Zealand Transport Agency will now set up a robust process to explore a range of possible procurement, financing and project delivery options," Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

"The procurement process agreed by Cabinet will review all other proposals in the same way as the Super Fund's proposal is assessed."

Mr Twyford says the rail network will be "a magnet for private investment in urban renewal".

"It's good to see that investors recognise this project will be a game-changer for Auckland commuters and the first step in tackling Auckland's ever-increasing congestion."