“National’s commitment to reforming planning and transport investment is welcome and, if supported by effective and timely delivery, could be transformational for New Zealand,” says Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Paul Blair.
“New National Party leader Judith Collins today announced a $17 billion transport investment programme for the Upper North Island and signalled a future allocation of $14 billion across the rest of New Zealand.
“The $31 billion transport programme, covering both strategic roading and public transport, would be principally enabled by a $7 billion allocation from the $20 billion COVID response fund and the long awaited allowance of NZTA borrowing against National Land Transport Fund revenues.
“Not only would this borrowing lift NZTA’s spending capability, it would also mean that future generations pay fairly for the benefits they get from today’s investments.
“National have signalled that the new investment-led approach to growth management will be supported by the repeal of the Resource Management Act.
“The replacement of the RMA with separate environmental protection and strategic planning Acts is necessary to pivot New Zealand away from decades of effects-based planning which has failed to support growth and productivity.
“The commitment by National to repeal and replace the RMA dovetails with the ongoing review by the Randerson Panel.
“Wider resource management system reform which aligns planning and investment across central and local government is needed to achieve the kind of economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes everyone wants.
“Delivery will be the key.
“RMA reform and transformational investment has been talked about for many years, but successive Governments have been challenged to overcome barriers within each three-year cycle.
“The next Government will need to rapidly move to reform key statutes like the RMA, Local Government Act and Land Transport Management Act, without losing momentum on projects needed to implement Government direction.
“A comprehensive project pipeline is a critical first deliverable for the next Government to ensure industry is ready and capable to meet future work demands.
“National’s announcements today are encouraging and we look forward to a healthy debate between all parties on the best way to fix the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure for a more successful New Zealand,” says Blair.
For further information and comment contact Paul Blair on 021 902 436