Te Waihanga to action recommendations from Transmission Gully Interim Review

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, will implement the recommendations directed by the Minister for Infrastructure, from the Transmission Gully Interim Review that was released, says Chief Executive Ross Copland.

The review recommends that Te Waihanga update aspects of the national Public Private Partnership (PPP) Guidance and that Waka Kotahi implement changes related primarily to the management of future PPP projects.

“The lessons learned from the Transmission Gully Interim Review will be valuable for future PPP projects and other major project procurement. It was noted in the review that Waka Kotahi had already proactively captured lessons learnt from Transmission Gully and applied those lessons to the Puhoi to Warkworth PPP project,” says Copland.

“The Major Projects and PPP Guidance, which we are currently updating as a result of the review, will allow us to give better advice on when the PPP model should be applied and provide tools on how to set up major projects for success.”

The current PPP guidance predates the Commission’s establishment. The new programme of work has already commenced and is expected to be published in 2021 and will reflect the different considerations in PPP procurement between transport and social infrastructure projects.

The Ministers for Infrastructure and Transport, Grant Robertson, and Michael Wood, released a joint media statement today on the recommendations that would be directed to Te Waihanga and Waka Kotahi following the publication of the Transmission Gully Interim Review.

The review which was completed independently by expert international reviewer Steve Richards, and local peer reviewers Sir Michael Cullen and Lindsay Crossen, recommends that improvements be made in PPP procurement, including the setting of the price through the Affordability Threshold, the management of consenting risk, and the project governance structure.

On behalf of the review team, Mr Richards explained his overall conclusion.

“By international standards, Transmission Gully was always going to be a large and complex road project to both plan and deliver successfully.

“While we found there were good aspects of how the project had been managed at the planning stage, several aspects of PPP management during that stage could have been done better and addressing those identified issues earlier may have minimised or avoided some of the delivery issues that have been reported.”

In addition to the recommendations being actioned, the Minister for Infrastructure has directed Te Waihanga to undertake a post-completion review of the Transmission Gully project.

The Transmission Gully Interim Review including the terms of reference can be read on the Te Waihanga website.