© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Over 1000 road and rail workers back in action today

Digby Werthmuller
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Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, and Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, announced over 1000 road and rail workers would begin work today.

KiwiRail began works on its major projects such as the Kaikōura rebuild and the Wellington metro upgrades today.

New Zealand's largest infrastructure project, City Rail Link, also resumed work as the country entered into alert level 3 overnight.

Of the 44 state highway projects currently on hold, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency had approved plans for 25 of those works to restart this week. Those projects included Transmission Gully and Pūhoi to Warkworth.

The remaining state highway and rail projects were expected to be back up and running by Monday next week.

Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, said record infrastructure builds would be back up and running as soon as possible.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is and getting people back to work day one of Alert Level 3 so we can get money into the pockets of businesses and workers sooner."

Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, said a team effort lead to getting these projects ready to restart.

"The Kaikōura rebuild will see around 450 road and rail workers back to work, City Rail Link expects 400 workers back this week, and Transmission Gully and Pūhoi to Warkworth will ramp back up to hundreds of workers at each."

“Major infrastructure projects like these...will help provide much-needed stimulus to the economy and guaranteed jobs."

Twyford said work wouldn't return to pre-pandemic ways just yet, with strict health and safety protocols followed as well as physical distancing and use of additional protective clothing being made a high priority.