Pipeline analysis

Introduction and Context

Organisations provided project data directly to the Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga (the team formerly operating as the Infrastructure Transactions Unit of The Treasury) on the expectation that it would be made publicly available. Each organisation is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of its own project data. Only credible and committed infrastructure projects are included.

Credible and certain project data is required for the pipeline to be useful. This includes project phasing, for example whether a specific project is currently in the business case, procurement or construction phase and dates for when it is likely to move to the next phase. While many new contributors were willing to share their information for this iteration, not all were ready with credible and certain project data at the time of publication. The Commission, Te Waihanga will continue to work with organisations to support improved project data.


This second iteration of the pipeline contains data from 15 organisations, which have identified 506 projects between them, with a combined estimated value of $21.1bn.

A few big projects

In this iteration of the pipeline 15% of projects are valued at over $50 million, representing around three-quarters of the estimated total pipeline value.

Peak in construction activity in 2020/21

A total of 169 projects (estimated value $7bn) were assigned project phase dates. This data suggests construction activity will increase substantially in 2020/21.

Transport, the largest sector

The transport sector represented in this iteration of the pipeline comprises projects from NZTA, KiwiRail, Palmerston North City Council and the Manawatu District Council. It is the largest sector with $6.5 billion of anticipated spend across 102 projects. This comprises 20% of all projects and around a third of the estimated total pipeline value.

Water utilities and energy join the mix

The largest contribution of previously uncaptured projects comes from water utility providers, including Wellington Water and Watercare. The water sector contributes 170 projects to the pipeline with an estimated value of $5.8 billion. These projects are expected to be procured between now and 2028.

In the energy sector, Transpower contributed 9 projects with an estimated value of $9bn out to 2033.

Other sectors

Education projects now make up 24% of those in the pipeline. The Ministry of Education added 47 projects and the University of Otago contributed 23 projects. When considered by value, the education sector equates to around $2 billion in capital investment, or 9% of the pipeline.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contributed an additional five projects to the pipeline. This brings the number of defence sector projects to 52, with a total value of $1.1 billion. All NZDF projects are in business or investment case development.


Organisation Projects
(change from May)
Estimated value*
Antarctica NZ 1 $100 – $250 million
Department of Corrections 11 (+1) $1.4 billion
KiwiRail 8 $2.28 billion
Palmerston North City Council 98 $577 million
Manawatu District Council 14 $249 million
MidCentral District Health Board 3 $5 - $25 million
Ministry of Education 99 (+47) $1.1 billion
Ministry of Health 14 (0) $2.6 billion
Ministry for Primary Industries 1 $100 - $250 million
New Zealand Defence Force 54 (+2) $1.1 billion
New Zealand Transport Agency [1] 47 (+3) $3.9 billion
Transpower 9 $993 million
University of Otago 23 $881 million
Watercare 116 $5.3 billion
Wellington Water 8 $290 million
Total 506 $21.1 billion

[1] Note the estimate provided for the City Centre to Mangere Light Rail is $1.8 billion as stated in ATAP and does therefore not include the full estimated cost of the project. For more information see https://www.transport.govt.nz/land/auckland/atap/questions-and-answers/(external link)