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Knowledge Hour recap – City Rail Link procurement project

For our first Knowledge Hour of the year, we were joined by City Rail Link (CRL), winner of the 2023 New Zealand Procurement Excellence Forum (NZPEF) Supreme, Environmental Impact and Social Impact Awards. They shared with us the mahi behind their win on New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project.

The City Rail Link project is a 3.4km twin track underground tunnel connecting downtown Waitematā station (Britomart) with a redeveloped Maungawhau station, along with wider network improvements.

As one of the largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand, it offered an opportunity to push the bar for social and sustainability outcomes. The new network will see improved frequency of trains and journey times reduced for commuters. To ensure they are meeting their sustainability targets they adopted the use of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC) IS rating, adapting it to integrate New Zealand’s cultural context. The IS rating helps CRL continually evaluate and improve their sustainability performance throughout the project.

CRL has also created a strong relationship with mana whenua. Over the course of the project, mana whenua has helped guide the design, supported the procurement process, and developed the way CRL considered the land and how they work with staff. CRL has created initiatives around employment, future workforce and training and development. In particular, the Progressive Employment Programme, which is designed to help Māori and Pasifika youth overcome the barriers to employment.

They’ve also set up a social procurement action plan, which their Social Outcomes Advisory Group (made up of representatives from City Rail Link Ltd, Link Alliance, the Sector Workforce Employment Programme, Construction Industry Social Outcomes leads, Auckland Council and Ministry of Social Development) procurement team annually audits to ensure recommendations and improvements are consistently made.

They highlighted the importance of upskilling the whole team’s cultural competency. For long term projects, this means not only your procurement team, but the whole team on the project. It’s about making sure that everyone is aware of their project commitments, the reasons for it, and how to manage those relationships well from a cultural perspective is important.

Thank you again to City Rail Link for sharing their mahi with us, we look forward to seeing how this project progresses.

Watch this Knowledge Hour, and previous Knowledge Hours:

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