Auckland Council has put its hand out for billions of dollars of Government money for just about every major project on its books, including the $4.4 billion City Rail Link and the $1.4 billion Eastern Busway.

The council has released a list of 73 projects it wants funding from the Government's "shovel ready" programme of projects that can start quickly to stimulate the economy from the impacts of Covid-19.

The list is made up of 30 key projects ranked in order of priority and a further 43 projects that are not ranked but meet the Government criteria. Work has already begun on many of the projects.

The bulk of the projects are funded in the council's 10-year budget but could be deferred from the impacts of Covid-19, which is affecting the council's revenue and ability to continue record spending on infrastructure.


Mayor Phil Goff said the projects will help stimulate the economy and employment and produce long-term benefits for the city and country.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Photo / Herald
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Photo / Herald

"Prior to Covid-19, Auckland Council was on track to deliver a capital works programme exceeding $2b for the financial year.

"As the region with a third of the nation's population and almost 40 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product, Auckland Council's current and planned infrastructure programme will be absolutely critical to the success of this stimulus initiative," he said.

The top five priorities are the City Rail Link, which is currently being jointly funded by council and the Government; the downtown project to gear up for the America's Cup; a marae upgrade programme; the Eastern Busway; and early work on a Northwestern busway.

The City Rail Link work around Mt. Eden train station. Video / CRL

Other top priorities include redeveloping the ferry basin, Puhinui rail and bus interchange, a new bus interchange in lower Albert St and road renewals.

Unranked projects on the council wishlist include the Karangahape Rd cycleway, Warkworth-Matakana link road, electric buses and new ferries.

Early this month, the Government asked for interest in projects worth more than $10 million that would be ready to go within six months and create economic stimulus and jobs.

A group of industry leaders was tasked to seek out private and public sector projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal.

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The new projects are in addition to the Government's already $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced in late 2019, and the Provincial Growth Fund.

Applications to the fund close today.

Auckland Council is also seeking funding for new tracks. Photo / Auckland Council
Auckland Council is also seeking funding for new tracks. Photo / Auckland Council

The Automobile Association has also released a list of five road safety initiatives and a big road maintenance programme it would like funded.

The safety projects include electronic speed signs outside all schools nationwide, 200km of additional median barriers on state highways every year for five years, upgrading two-star highways to at least a three-star rating, extra engineering work to support safer speeds, and at least 20 new red light cameras in main centres outside Auckland.

AA principal adviser for infrastructure Barney Irvine said the organisation wanted to see a nationwide road maintenance programme of 15 per cent of the country's roads at a cost of $200m to $250m a year.

The work would be an extension of the existing highway and local road maintenance programme.

Irvine said road maintenance has been badly neglected over the last decade, leading to the condition of roads getting worse.

"Poor quality road surfaces reduce the grip a vehicle has with the road and leads to higher crash rates," he said.