Puhoi to Warkworth road consortium gets OIO approval

By Edwin Mitson

Photo / File
Photo / File

The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of 1,700 hectares of land to the consortium which is to build and maintain the Puhoi to Warkworth road, connecting Auckland to Northland.

The NX2 Consortium is paying "in excess of $100 million" for the leaseholds rights, with a further $100 million to be spent on developing the land before the $750 million roading project starts.

The consortium includes the Accident Compensation Corporation, who hold 38.3 percent, Public Infrastructure Partners II LP at 38.3 percent, Spain's ACCIONA S.A at 10 percent and Fletcher Building and others at 13.4 percent.

It will design, construct and finance the road, a process that's expected to take five years, before managing and maintaining the road for a 25-year term. The road is deemed one of seven New Zealand's roads of national significance.

The Overseas Investment Office said it was satisfied that the criteria of substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand had been met.

This includes jobs, new technology or business skills and greater efficiency or productivity. The OIO was also satisfied that it met criteria under strategically important infrastructure, advance significant government policy or strategy and economic interests.

In September a board of inquiry approved the Transport Agency's proposal to build the 18.5 kilometre extension of the Northern Motorway from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels at Puhoi to just north of Warkworth after receiving more than 180 submissions. Investigations are underway on a Warkworth to Wellsford section.

In a separate approval, the OIO approved Chinese government owned Waste Management NZ's purchase of 185 hectares of land at the Tirohia Landfill in Hauraki. The office said the investment would lead to the increased capture of greenhouse gas and its conversion to electricity.

- BusinessDesk

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