City Rail Link

City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) is delivering the project


Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff, Minister of Finance Hon. Grant Robertson, Transport Minister Hon. Phil Twyford and Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore inspect the CRL construction inside the Chief Post Office building

In September 2016, Auckland Council and the Government signed a Heads of Agreement to jointly fund the CRL.

This historic milestone signalled that both central and local government were in agreement that building the CRL is a priority to deal with Auckland's population and transport patronage growth and help move its economy forward.

The agreement paved the way for the "main works" tendering process to begin and for specialist contractors to make available to people and machinery needed to build the CRL.

The government and council established the company City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) to deliver the project and this took effect from July 1 2017.

CRLL is a crown entity, listed under Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act, owned by the Crown and Auckland Council. The company has full governance, operational and financial responsibility for the CRL, with clear delivery targets and performance expectations.

It is governed by a board chairman and directors. Procurement responsibilities were transferred from Auckland Transport to CRLL.

The Crown and Auckland Council expect that the management, delivery and completion of the CRL will be an exemplar model for the efficient and effective provision of public infrastructure through central and local government collaboration.

KiwiRail, the state-owned enterprise responsible for all rail operations, has a formal role in ensuring the CRL's interoperability with the wider rail network and the services, such as freight, that it provides.

AT and KiwiRail are engaged by CRLL to provide technical and operational support services.



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Heads of Agreement document

Sponsors Agreement

Project Delivery Agreement

Media releases

Signing of Link Alliance contract

19 July 2019

City Rail Link Ltd’s commitment to transform public transport in Auckland took a huge step forward today when it signed a contract with the Link Alliance to build the main stations-and-tunnels programme of work for the City Rail Link (CRL).  

 Transport Minister Phil Twyford, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, CRL Ltd, the Link Alliance and kaumatua representing Tāmaki Makaurau Iwi were present for the signing as were project partners KiwiRail and Auckland Transport.

 Mr Twyford says the signing is significant  for Auckland and for New Zealand.

 “Given the competition world-wide to build infrastructure, the whole country can take pride in the fact that such a high calibre of international companies want to come here and help build a better future for New Zealand,” Mr Twyford says.

 Mr Goff describes CRL as a gamechanger for Auckland.


“It will double the capacity of our rail network, reduce travel times into and through the central city, and help take cars off the roads, as well as driving investment in our region. The signing of this agreement will help ensure the delivery of the world-class transport system our city needs.

 “With the population of Auckland growing by 40,000 a year and public transport journeys exceeding 100 million in the past year, the completion of CRL can’t come soon enough,” Mr Goff says.

 Signing the Project Alliance Agreement  (PAA) formally clears the way for the three construction companies and three design companies in the Link Alliance, together with CRL Ltd, to start work building two new inner-city underground stations, upgrading the existing Mt Eden station, and completing tunnel  construction.  It is the single biggest programme of work for CRL,  known as the C3 contract. 

 “Our signatures drying on the PAA represent a significant milestone not only in the history of this project, but for Auckland’s future as well with the delivery of a modern rail network,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, said,

 The New Zealand and international companies in the Link Alliance are Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S,, Downer NZ Ltd, Soletanche Bachy International NZ Limited, WSP Opus (NZ) Limited, AECOM New Zealand Limited and Tonkin+Taylor Limited.    

 Dr Sweeney says the companies have a proven record of delivering large and complex infrastructure. 

 “Aucklanders can be confident that a project transforming the way they travel, live and work will be delivered to a high standard, on time in 2024, and on budget, leaving behind an outstanding legacy for the city,” he says.  

 The Chairman of the Project Alliance Board, Pierre Bourgeois, says the Link Alliance is proud and excited to be delivering a landmark project for Auckland.

 “As a truly international team with members from more than 25 countries, we look forward to working alongside local communities to safely construct the City Rail Link over the next five years. Together with CRL Limited, we are committed to realising the outstanding legacy CRL will leave for New Zealand’s biggest city,” Mr Bourgeois says.

 The PAA and other project-related documents were signed inside the Chief Post Office heritage building in central Auckland, whose 4000 tonnes of 106-year-old masonry is being suspended on temporary foundations above the construction of a section of the tunnel below it.

 The signing follows CRL Ltd’s announcements last April of the Link Alliance as its preferred bidder, and details of a $1 billion increase in the project to $4.4 billion after a rigorous and comprehensive review of project costs.  The project’s two sponsors – The Crown and Auckland Council – subsequently approved CRL Ltd’s request for additional funding. 

 To ensure project momentum was not lost, the Link Alliance began work on a $75 million Early Works Contract while commercial and legal negotiations continued to finalise the PAA.   

 Construction of three smaller sections of the project at lower Queen Street/Britomart and north Albert Street in the city centre and utility-based work at Mt Eden are already underway.

Establishment of City Rail Link Limited

30 June 2017

AGREEMENT: Signing the agreements Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Phil Goff and Finance Minister Steven Joyce at the Britomart construction site

Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have today signed the agreements with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff that establish City Rail Link Limited to assume responsibility from tomorrow for delivering Auckland’s City Rail Link, marking the next step in transforming Auckland’s public transport.

“City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) is a new company owned jointly by central and local Government, with the sole and express responsibility of successfully delivering the game-changing City Rail Link (CRL) project,” Mr Joyce says.

“This is a complex and critical piece of infrastructure that will unlock major development opportunities across central Auckland”, Mr Joyce says,  “It is crucial we have a single joint entity running the project solely focussed on delivering a high-quality result for the city while effectively managing the investment of both the Crown and Auckland Council.”

“This is a massive public transport project to deliver New Zealand’s first underground rail system. I want to congratulate the project team that has successfully managed the CRL project to date, and supported the transition to CRLL,” Mr Bridges says.

“Today’s signing is the next milestone in this important addition to Auckland’s public transport system. Auckland’s population predicted to grow by more than 700,000 people over the next 30 years, the CRL will play an important role in getting people in and out of the city with ease.

“Once complete, the CRL will fundamentally change the way people get around central Auckland and demonstrates the Government’s is commitment to Auckland and its Public Transport systems.

“CRL is Auckland’s top new transport priority. It will double the capacity of the whole existing rail network and provide significant travel time savings for commuters,” Mr Bridges says.

“The Crown and Auckland Council have signed agreements transferring the project to CRLL, formalising their partnership to jointly fund and oversee it through to completion,” Mr Joyce says.

“Under the leadership of Sir Brian Roche as Chair, CRLL will drive delivery of this complex project.”

Once complete, the CRL will be one of New Zealand’s largest-ever transport projects. The 3.4 kilometre double-track underground rail line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland through the CBD to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.

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First tranche of City Rail Link funding

25 May 2017

Budget 2017 provides $436 million of new capital for Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL), as the first tranche of the Government’s investment in this critical transport project for Auckland, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

“The Government announced in 2016 that it would support accelerating the delivery of the CRL to help address Auckland’s transport needs by committing to fund half of the expected $2.8 billion to $3.4 billion cost,” Mr Bridges says.

“The CRL is a game-changer for central Auckland and this funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to Auckland and its public transport systems."

“CRL is Auckland’s top new transport priority. It will double the capacity of the existing rail network and cut travel time for commuters."

“The CRL is already bringing economic benefits to Auckland and New Zealand creating hundreds of jobs during construction,” Mr Bridges says.

Once complete, the CRL will be one of New Zealand’s largest-ever transport projects. The 3.4 kilometre double-track underground rail line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland through the CBD to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.

The Government and Auckland Council are now finalising the necessary funding and governance arrangements that will accompany both parties’ significant investment, including setting up an independent company to deliver the project. Further announcements on the details of these arrangements will be made in the coming months.

The Government’s investment in the CRL will be provided progressively through Budgets 2017 to 2020.

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Government confirms City Rail Link funding

14 September 2016

The Government has agreed to fund half the cost of Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL), Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have announced.

The Government and Auckland Council today signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Crown will fund 50 per cent of the CRL. The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $2.8 billion and $3.4 billion, and the Crown will make its 50 per cent funding progressively available once a Sponsors’ Agreement is in place.

“In January this year, the Prime Minister announced the Government would accelerate delivery of the CRL to help address Auckland’s transport issues. This agreement is an important milestone in the project and it underlines the Government’s commitment to keeping Auckland moving,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Heads of Agreement sets out in-principle commitments from Government and Auckland Council, and contains broader funding, governance and risk management arrangements."

“The Heads of Agreement also outlines arrangements for establishing an independent Special Purpose Entity to deliver the CRL, working with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and others as necessary.”

A more detailed Sponsors’ Agreement will be developed in the coming months to give effect to the Crown’s and Council’s commitments. The Government will start to make the Crown funding available once this is in place – which may be as early as 2017.

Once complete, the CRL will be one of New Zealand’s largest-ever transport projects. The 3.4 kilometre underground train line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland through the CBD to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.

“CRL is one of Auckland’s top transport priorities It will double the capacity of the metro rail network and provide significant travel time savings for commuters, particularly those travelling from fast-growing western suburbs,” Mr Bridges says.

“The Government’s commitment to the CRL has been driven by strong growth in rail patronage in recent years and the need to provide investment certainty for large-scale property developments around Auckland’s CBD, including around the new and improved stations at Aotea Square, Karangahape Road and Mount Eden,” Mr Bridges says.

“The investment in City Rail Link reflects the Government’s strong commitment to meeting Auckland’s transport needs, with improvements to the transport network focused on accommodating the growing population as well as supporting ongoing economic growth,” Mr Bridges says.

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