The Transport Minister and officials will meet this Tuesday over Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) after a review found the $6.4 billion project was at risk of failing.
This morning Michael Wood, Waka Kotahi NZTA chairman Sir Brian Roche and officials fronted a Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee meeting.
Roche admitted the programme currently has no public credibility.
"This is going to be a very slow burn in terms of getting tangible progress and confidence and trust from the public.
"We accept that, so we have to do a lot better on the engagement", he said.
An internal review, publicly released two weeks ago, found LGWM has leadership problems, a detrimental culture, is inadequately resourced, and ultimately at risk of failing to deliver.
Wood sent a scathing letter to those in charge of the project, the LGWM Partnership Board, saying the issues were unacceptable.
He demanded officials come up with a plan to resolve weaknesses within a fortnight.
Tomorrow marks two weeks since Wood sent the letter. A meeting has been scheduled to take place late on Tuesday March 2.
LGWM is a three-way partnership between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Waka Kotahi NZTA.
It includes doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel, mass rapid transit from the city to the airport, bus priority measures, and better walking and cycling.
National list MP, based in Hutt South, Chris Bishop remarked at the Select Committee meeting today the review was "pretty damning".
He asked Wood whether he was confident two weeks was enough time for the agencies involved to sort things out.
Wood said the parties were well aware of the issues, which is why they called for a health check to begin with.
He said they have had time to consider the findings over summer.
"I'm absolutely confident they'll be coming back to me with a clear way forward. I actually think it's been helpful to apply a little bit of pressure and expectation that we focus on those solutions."
Roche made assurances Waka Kotahi remained absolutely committed to the programme as it was announced in 2019.
In September last year the Herald revealed draft indicative business cases for mass rapid transit and a second tunnel were behind schedule by up to eight months.
Today, National list MP, based in Wellington, Nicola Willis asked whether they have now been completed and if not, why not.
"We haven't completed the indicative business cases", NZTA Transport Services General Manager Brett Gliddon said.
"These are very complex projects and we underestimated the amount of work involved... they're all interlinked, they're not separate things, we have to plan this as one."
Roche said he did not think the delays presented a risk to the project's delivery timeline.
"We are late, we acknowledge that, but we would hope in the next few months to be able to get to a point where informed decisions can be made and options agreed and made public so there can be some public engagement."
Roche pointed to frustration that while the cost and sequencing of these bigger projects were being worked through, the project was not getting "early wins on the board".
These are things like bus priority measures, and improvements to walking and cycling.
Labour Rongotai MP Paul Eagle questioned whether that was a case of local councils needing to "pull finger" to restore some public confidence.
Roche replied: "The answer to that has to be yes."