Wellington Scoop

$5m more (after $14m and $191m more) to keep work going on Transmission Gully

construction transmission gully
NZTA photo

Report from RNZ
The Transport Agency is paying another $5 million to keep workers on site at the massive Transmission Gully construction project over winter.

The billion-dollar motorway being built north of Wellington has had multiple delays and cost blowouts.

The agency said it was fronting the money so the six-week winter-work programme could be extended by a month until 7 August.

It paid out $14m in May because of Covid-19, with the payments to form part of any final settlement. And in February it paid $191m to cover delays from the Kaikōura earthquake and additional earthworks.

The agency said it was still negotiating with the public-private-partnership consortium building the motorway about the finish date and the final cost of the Covid-19 shutdown.

Transport Agency services general manager Brett Gliddon said extending the winter work programme while these negotiations continued would help minimise further delays.

“[The agency] must take a considered approach to making any decisions that involve taxpayer money and that is why an agreement on the new opening date and associated costs is taking time,” Gliddon said.

He said the agency would not comment further until the talks were done.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the extension was a good sign because it showed talks were continuing.

He said the government wanted Transmission Gully completed as quickly as possible.

The motorway was initially slated for completion in November of this year but will not open now until well into 2021.


  1. Dave B, 14. July 2020, 14:58

    The longer this thing can be staved off, the longer Wellington can be spared the influx of additional traffic it will bring. Wellington can do without this extra tide of vehicles.
    The real need is to move people, not cars. The growing demand for moving people should as far as possible have been catered-for by a significantly enhanced rail service, extending further up the Kapiti Coast as well as further into Wellington city and its southern environs. Transmission Gully is part of the problem, not the solution.

  2. Morris Oxford, 14. July 2020, 17:31

    Proof of the advantages of “fewer cars” came when cycling increased so much during the lock-down because it was safer. It was very much better for cars as well. Keep out the rest of the traffic please.

  3. jamie, 15. July 2020, 6:19

    Making it hard to get to Wellington will keep me out of there as well. We can’t all hop on the train with our bags and then find a bike and carriers and ways to get home after spending a day in Wellington. You are missing out on my money.

    Why is it always a disaster with transport projects, they always run over budget, take double the amount of time and have a common problem which seems to be NZTA.

  4. Dave B, 15. July 2020, 11:27

    Agree Jamie, that some journeys can only be made by car. Others can be made by alternative means, but people are often full of excuses as to why this won’t work for them. Meanwhile many people use public transport when they can and make a positive difference to the city by not bringing their car in. They also make a positive difference to those who need to drive, by helping keep unnecessary traffic off the roads. And the better the provision of public transport is, the easier it is for more people to make this choice.

    If the difficulties of driving into Wellington put you off coming, then you are free to weigh this up and perhaps choose to avoid it. But spending large sums on road-building to make it easier to drive, while doing little to develop PT which would make it easier not-to-drive, simply encourages more people to drive and worsens our overall traffic-problem. Transport Policy 1.01