China May Build NZ Highways


Increasing speculation about China doing construction work for the Waikato Expressway and Wellington’s Transmission Gully projects.
Engineers from the China Road and Bridge Corporation were in New Zealand this month, reportedly scoping the projects and, whether related or not,  transport minister Steven Joyce has also been in China this month.
China’s corporation’s website boasts building such projects as the 126km Jinan-Qingdao Expressway and the 602 km Qinghai-Tibet Highway, which crossed more than 560 km of frozen land.

It calls itself “a large-scale, state-owned foreign-trade and economic-cooperation enterprise that focuses on construction of road, bridge, tunnel and port and other transport infrastructures as primary operation and trade, investment, leasing and service as its concurrent operations.”

Its site says: “Constantly abiding by the tenet of ‘building roads and bridges to make contributions to the society and taking human as priority to pursue excellent future’, CRBC devotes itself to road and bridge construction in China and the world and is ready to cooperate with friends from all countries and all circles to realize mutual benefits and create a more glorious future.”

Prime minister John Key, in China this weekend, was asked during today’s TVNZ’s Q&A programme about the speculation China wants to built Wellington’s Transmission Gully.

Mr Key responded: “They might do, and at the end of the day from New Zealand’s perspective I mean we’re looking for value for money.”

In view of the reaction from local rail workers to not being able to build Auckland’s electric trains, it will be interesting to see how the Australasian construction industry would react to China landing one of the big NZTA roading projects.




  1. anthony says:

    I don’t think people will be happy about this, particarly at a time like this where people are looking for jobs. although i think it would be fine once the economy rturns to normal.

  2. rtc says:

    I’m not sure how the government could still claim the project was producing any sort of local benefit when not only the BCR is less than 1 but all the money spent on the construction went off shore.

  3. ingolfson says:

    Inded. That is the downside of free trade agreements, I guess. You suddenly have to compete with rock bottom prices and with the money spent going overseas.

    Risky stuff for National.

  4. Chris says:

    I don’t think they should be allowed here to build anything except high speed rail links. That they can do, and we clearly can’t.

  5. George D says:

    If they’re going to waste billions on useless roads, they might as well save some money. God knows they’re expensive enough as it is.

  6. Matthew says:

    The core skills of main contractors these days are project management related. I would struggle to believe that this company has the sort of skills to be able to operate in a country like NZ. For example managing risks from 3rd parties (land owners, residents, local authorities, utilities companies etc) Health and Safety management systems, environmental management systems.

    It is my understanding that the large Australian contractor Leighton’s strategy when getting into New Zealand was initially to go into several joint ventures with established NZ contractors to get an understanding of the way things were done here. And that is a company used to working in a jurisdiction fairly similar to NZ.

  7. BD says:

    The whole National Government are worse than Labour in my Opinion, don’t get me wrong they were still bad but National are no better. They haven’t solved the main problems that NZ currently having. They have allowed immigration to rise even more dramatically. I’m very concerned with NZ commitment to trading with China, one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    They have a terrible environmental record and the last thing that we want to be doing is allowing them to build motorways when there are loads of people in NZ who are looking for work. The government doesn’t seem to care about the adverse effects of allowing to much immigration from China and how this would change the face of NZ culture as a whole that us kiwis love and enjoy about NZ. Something needs to be done a general election in 2011, must be on the cards now as I’ve had enough of National.

  8. [...] who writes a blog called Aucklandtrains and pays pretty close attention to this stuff. He points to increasing speculation about China chasing infrastructure work in New Zealand, especially after transport minister Steven Joyce and [...]


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