Sunday 23rd Jul, 2017

Board appointed for Auckland’s City Rail Link project company

Graphic: Auckland Transport
Graphic: Auckland Transport

The New Zealand government and Auckland Council have announced the appointment of the board for City Rail Link Limited, the new joint-owned company set up to deliver the City Rail Link project.

New Zealand’s finance minister, Steven Joyce, and transport minister, Simon Bridges, announced that along with Sir Brian Roche, who was appointed to the chair of the company at its establishment earlier in the month, the board members will be Russell Black, Brian Harrison, Karen Jordan and Anne Urlwin.

“I welcome the valuable knowledge and experience that these people will bring into their new roles,” minister Joyce said.

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

Trained as a civil engineer, Russell Black has experience in senior management positions for transport infrastructure companies and in managing large infrastructure projects, including London Underground’s Jubilee Line extension. He previously held the position of project director for the Mass Transit Railway Corporation in Hong Kong, and has carried out consultation work with Metro Trains in Melbourne and Sydney Metro. He has been a director of Northpower Ltd, a New Zealand electricity distribution company, since 2011.

As a lawyer, Brian Harrison specialises in infrastructure funding, procurement, PPPs and contracts. He has previously worked for financial lenders to Stockholm’s Arlanda express rail link, in negotiations and delivery of funding for London’s Jubilee Line, and as an adviser with the UK’s Strategic Rail Authority on the capitalisation and debt structuring of rail infrastructure assets.

Karen Jordan has worked with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence as Director Contract Management, and has also had a career with British Gas.

Anne Urlwin is a professional director, chartered accountant and business consultant. She is currently chair of Naylor Love Enterprises, and a director of Chorus, Southern Response Earthquake Services, OnePath Life, Steel & Tube Holdings and Summerset Group Holdings. She has also served on numerous Crown boards and two local government CCOs.

“The appointees bring considerable experience in major project management, procurement in rail projects and other large infrastructure projects, and expertise in finance, accounting and audit and risk,” Simon Bridges said.

“I’m confident they are the right group to oversee this hugely important transport project.”

City Rail Link Limited will assume full operational and financial responsibility for the City Rail Link project, while engaging with Auckland Transport and KiwiRail to provide technical and operational support services.

When complete in 2023, the $3.4 billion CRL will consist of a 3.45 kilometre twin-tunnel underground rail link, running from Britomart Station through the CBD to a redeveloped Mount Eden Station, and will also involve the construction of two new underground stations at Aotea and Karangahape.