Preferred alliance announced to deliver New Zealand’s RiverLink project

AECOM, fletcher, new zealand, Riverlink,


AECOM-Fletcher announced as the preferred alliance for the RiverLink project after more than five years of consultation, engagement, and consenting work by project partners.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Systems Design, Kesh Keshaboina, says finding the right team for the job has been front and centre for project partners over the past six months. This announcement marks a key milestone in the programme.

“Strong relationships have been key in getting us to where we are today and will be fundamental in the ongoing success of the RiverLink programme. Guided by programme objectives Ora Tāngata, Ora Taiao and Ora Wairua, we look forward to working with our partners and the AECOM-Fletcher alliance to achieve the best outcomes for our people, communities, and environment,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Systems Design Kesh Keshaboina.

“For us, RiverLink is a unique opportunity to deliver a more integrated, safer, reliable and accessible transport system for all modes, and one that improves the resilience of our regional infrastructure. By working collaboratively with our project partners, we’ve achieved much more than we would have individually. It’s a testament to the partnership we have built over the last five years and how we intend to continue going forward into the delivery phase,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Systems Design Kesh Keshaboina.

The alliance will also upgrade flood protection infrastructure on Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River. Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter says one of the greatest threats to the region is a serious flood on the river, which could potentially destroy more than a billion dollars’ worth of community, council and state assets.

“The devastation wrought by Cyclones Gabrielle and Hale demonstrates why RiverLink is a priority for the regional council. We welcome the appointment of the AECOM-Fletcher alliance to create flood defences capable of protecting thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses in and around the Lower Hutt CBD,” says Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter.

“Together with our RiverLink partners, Greater Wellington looks forward to working with the alliance to strengthen regional resilience, defend the community and enhance the health of the river,” says Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter.

As well as improving flood protection, RiverLink will develop better transport connections, revitalise the city centre and help prepare it for future development.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says RiverLink is a vital project which provides a range of benefits and helps the city respond to some of its biggest challenges.

“RiverLink is a transformational project which will revitalise our city centre and help us respond to increasing congestion, the effects of climate change, improving connections within our transport network and the need for the development of more housing due to our growing population,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry.

“Along with the protections it brings, RiverLink will provide better public transport and walking and cycling connections, as well as roading upgrades, to make it easier for our residents to move around the city centre. It will create new recreation areas with the river as a focal point and help us to prepare for future residential and commercial development, all with the vision of turning the city centre to face the river,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry.

“We are very excited to be at this stage and look forward to working with AECOM-Fletcher and our other partners to plan how we are going to deliver this series of projects and the benefits they bring to our communities,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry.

General Manager of Fletcher Construction Major Projects, Mike Elliot, and AECOM New Zealand Managing Director, Craig Davidson, say it is an exciting opportunity to deliver these transformational set of projects for Lower Hutt.

“We’re looking forward to working with the amazing team who have been delivering the project to date.  Recent events have shown that we need even stronger defences to prevent significant flood damage to homes, businesses and the natural world. RiverLink will not only protect Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai but also create a city where people have beautiful spaces and more time to spend with friends and whanau.”

“These changes will have a major impact on how people live in this city and deliver benefits that will be felt for generations to come. We’re proud to part of this legacy project,”.

The RiverLink programme is expected to begin main construction later this year and be completed in 2027.

  • AECOM-Fletcher join RiverLink partners – Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington, and iwi Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira – to deliver crucial flood protection and river restoration work, improvements to public transport, walking & cycling routes, local roads and the SH2 Melling Interchange, as well as urban revitalisation of the Lower Hutt city centre. 
  • Over the next six months, RiverLink partners will work closely with the alliance to explore further innovations and value improvements through the design to potentially reduce costs and improve the outcomes that have been identified. This is called the Interim Project Alliance Agreement phase.
  • When the final detailed design, cost and construction approach is agreed upon, a Project Alliance Agreement will be signed later this year, with main construction to follow.

Source: © 2023 Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Image source: © RiverLink 2023

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