It’s here – our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) arrives in Auckland


Pieces of our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine are transported to our Māngere site.

After ten months being constructed in a German factory and a month travelling the high seas, our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), named Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, has safely arrived on our shores. The machine, which was dismantled before shipping, will begin digging a 14.7km wastewater tunnel from Grey Lynn to Māngere in early 2021.
Early this morning (Monday), the first of 27 trucks began transporting parts of the TBM from Ports of Auckland to the Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant - the launch site for the $1.2 billion project. The remaining pieces will be transported tomorrow (Tuesday), with oversize loads being moved overnight.
Mayor Phil Goff, who will officially launch the five-year tunnelling operation on 14 December, says the Central Interceptor will make a real difference to the health of the beaches and waterways in central Auckland.
“The Central Interceptor is the largest wastewater infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand. Once complete, this $1.2 billion project will dramatically improve the health of our harbours, beaches, and streams by reducing wet-weather overflows by up to 80 per cent.
“It is a huge investment, but it means we can leave a legacy of clean, safe, healthy beaches for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
A piece of our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine is unpacked at our Māngere site
A piece of our Tunnel Boring Machine is unpacked at our Māngere site.

Central Interceptor executive programme director Shayne Cunis says, “Despite the challenges we have faced this year with COVID-19, we have made significant progress on the project, and the arrival of the TBM sets us up for another great year in 2021.”
Several Central Interceptor construction sites are currently in progress. Works at Māngere and May Road (Mt Roskill) shaft sites are the most advanced.  At Māngere, excavation of the 38-metre-deep main shaft (wet well) and 32-metre deep inlet shaft are complete, with the concrete base slab at the bottom of both shafts now being installed.  Further sites along the tunnel route will commence in 2021.
Due to the size of the TBM – once pieced together it will be 190 metres in length – it will not be fully assembled by our contractor Ghella Abergeldie JV and Herrenknecht until it is launched underground in early 2021.

A piece of our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine is unpacked at our Māngere site
Pieces of the Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine at our Māngere site.

Media coverage of the TBM

Central Interceptor TBM passes final test

Order placed for New Zealand TBM

Auckland's $1.2 billion sewer tunnel to clean up beaches