The Vector Tunnel project is a remarkable feat involving the construction of a 9.2 km long tunnel in Auckland. This meticulously engineered tunnel, with a diameter of 3 m, traverses depths ranging from 20 m to 100 m below ground level, predominantly situated below sea level. Its primary objective is to facilitate the transportation of approximately one-third of the city’s power requirements through massive, insulated cables that resemble snakes in their form and scale.


  • Project management
  • Concept design
  • Feasibility study
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Assessment of environmental effects 
  • Resource consents
  • Land owner negotiations
  • Detailed civil design
  • Building consents
  • Tendering
  • Construction supervision
  • Engineer-to-the-Contract


  • Vector Energy


  • 1990-2000

Vector Tunnel

Tonkin + Taylor, as a key participant, played an integral role in various aspects of the Vector Tunnel project, contributing expertise to ensure its successful completion.

Project management services provided by Tonkin + Taylor ensured seamless coordination and efficient execution of all project activities. Effective project management was instrumental in adhering to timelines, budgetary constraints, and quality standards.

Tonkin + Taylor conducted thorough concept design work to develop innovative and practical solutions that met the project’s unique requirements. A comprehensive feasibility study was also undertaken to assess the viability and potential challenges associated with tunnel construction.

Extensive geotechnical investigations by Tonkin + Taylor gathered crucial data and insights into the subsurface conditions along the tunnel alignment. This valuable information guided the development of appropriate design strategies, ensuring the tunnel’s structural integrity.

Tonkin + Taylor assessed the project’s environmental effects, evaluating potential impacts on the surrounding environment. This assessment informed the preparation of resource consent applications, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and securing necessary approvals.

Engaging in negotiations with landowners along the tunnel route, Tonkin + Taylor addressed their concerns and facilitated the acquisition of land rights and access permissions.

Detailed civil design work was undertaken by Tonkin + Taylor, developing precise engineering plans and specifications for tunnel construction. Additionally, the team facilitated the procurement of building consents, ensuring adherence to local building regulations and standards.

Tonkin + Taylor played a vital role in the tendering process, offering technical expertise and evaluation support to ensure the selection of competent contractors. During the construction phase, the team provided diligent supervision, overseeing the implementation of construction activities, and ensuring compliance with design specifications.

Serving as the Engineer-to-the-Contract, Tonkin + Taylor provided technical advice and expertise to project stakeholders, resolving any technical issues that arose and ensuring compliance with contractual obligations.

The completion of the Vector Tunnel project in January 2000 marked a significant milestone for Auckland’s power supply infrastructure. This tunnel is vital in meeting the city’s growing power demands while future-proofing its supply needs. By facilitating the transportation of substantial power cables, the tunnel minimises the need for extensive disruptions to roads and existing infrastructure.

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