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Why won’t the NZ Transport Agency release information about two public-private partnerships used to build highways? 

Summarised by Centrist

Public-private partnerships were recently used to build expensive sections of the Pūhoi-to-Warkworth and Transmission Gully motorways – but the government isn’t releasing all the information it should about the partnerships, RNZ claims

Improvements, alterations and rebuilds on the Pūhoi-to-Warkworth and Transmission Gully highways were mostly completed in December 2023 – although what’s left outstanding is information about the partnerships with private companies used to build the motorway sections. 

RNZ wanted to publish information held by the Treasury regarding the NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) but the Agency rejected RNZ’s Official Information Act request to release it “on the grounds of commercial sensitivity and legal privilege.”

The latest OIA progress report on Pūhoi has two full pages on the subject of cost claims completely blanked out, and nobody has revealed to RNZ the final bills for either of the two motorways as contractors’ claims are still being worked through.

RNZ’s article includes concerns about the rising costs of the Puhoi motorway due to this year’s landslides. 

The 27km Transmission Gully was to have cost $1.25 billion, and 18km of the Pūhoi motorway was to have cost $900m – but the Puhoi motorway still has outstanding claims for payment (due to Covid delays) of over $200m – leaving total costs still hard to report on. 

Read more over at RNZ

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