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In October 2019 the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board appointed Michael Heron QC to undertake an independent investigation into unauthorised public disclosures of confidential and commercially sensitive information relating to NZ Infra’s proposal to deliver light rail in Auckland. The full report is available here.

NZ Infra put out the following statement in response to the report:

NZ Infra remains disappointed at the leaking of confidential and commercially sensitive information, including an early version of NZ Infra’s proposal for Auckland light rail.

The leak, which occurred in the midst of a competitive bid process in which Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency was participating against NZ Infra was, in our view, clearly intended to undermine the Ministry of Transport-led partner selection process and our proposal specifically. This led to incorrect and uninformed speculation about our proposal and damage to our reputation. While the inquiry was unable to identify the source of the leaks, other than that they were likely to be from one or more human actors related to NZTA, it has recommended several actions Waka Kotahi should undertake to prevent similar occurrences in the future. We are pleased Waka Kotahi has indicated its willingness to address these recommendations.

NZ Infra put forward a world class, innovative and fully-funded proposal to deliver light rail from the city centre to the airport. The project was backed by extensive global experience and expertise in delivering light rail, and had the potential to transform Auckland. We were pleased NZ Infra was recommended by the Ministry of Transport as the Government’s preferred delivery partner, which should assure the public the proposal we put forward in November 2019 was of the highest quality.

The final proposal remains the valuable intellectual property of NZ Infra. The Government has the option of engaging with NZ Infra to see how the proposal NZ Infra has prepared can support the next phase of the project. We are happy to have these discussions when the Government is ready to do so.