Our intentions: Looking at governance of the Auckland City Rail Link project

27 July 2020: A 3.45km underground tunnel is going below the centre of New Zealand’s biggest city. Due for completion in 2024 and costing up to $4.42 billion, the Auckland City Rail Link project is jointly governed by Auckland Council and the Government. It is part of the $28 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Project 2018-28.

The Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) project is expected to enable redevelopment of Auckland’s inner city for the next 50 years, reduce travelling time and congestion, improve transport reliability, and provide many other economic benefits for the people of the city.

What we’re focusing on

By July 2021, we intend to report to Parliament on the CRL project’s governance and accountability arrangements.

We are looking to answer the question: “Is the governance of the City Rail Link project effective and likely to support the successful delivery of the project?”

In particular, we will report on whether the CRL’s governance arrangements are:

  • consistent with good practice;
  • working effectively and efficiently; and
  • supporting the CRL’s successful delivery.

High standards of public sector governance and accountability are essential to healthy democracies at both a national and local level. They enable the effective and efficient use of public resources in the wide range of agencies that make up the public sector. We have identified eight elements essential for effective governance, which we discussed in our 2016 report Reflections from our audits: Governance and accountability. We will use the eight elements to guide our fieldwork and analysis.

The difference we expect to make

Our independent reporting will help Parliament provide effective scrutiny over this significant project.

We will also use this work to help improve the performance and accountability of the public sector more widely, through sharing insights on the role of governance arrangements in delivering major projects, and identify any lessons that could benefit other joint local and central government projects in the future.

Please use the feedback form on the right if you’d like to speak to a staff member about this audit, make a suggestion, or ask a question.