Breaking the mould of decades of infrastructure underinvestment

29 Jan 2020 3:42 PM | Anonymous

MEDIA RELEASE

“The Government’s $12 billion infrastructure programme is a fantastic start towards building the infrastructure New Zealand needs to realise its potential,” says Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Paul Blair.

The Government announced the details for over $7 billion of its $12 billion in infrastructure spending today. Transport investments were made across New Zealand’s growth areas, with $5.3 billion allocated to road corridors (including accompanying cycle- and footpaths), $1.1 billion to rail, and nearly $400 million on the Skypath and Seapath for cycling and walking across Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour.

The announcements also included $300 million for health facilities, the previously announced $400 million for schools, and a portion of the promised $200 million for decarbonising heating at hospitals and schools.

“The infrastructure sector has been crying out for investment and a long-term pipeline, which this package delivers. The new partnership approach outlined in the Construction Sector Accord is now absolutely critical to move these plans off the page and into the hands of Kiwis,” says Blair.

Announcements about how the $4 billion Multi-Year Capital Allowance will be spent can be expected at the May Budget and the Auckland Light Rail decision is expected soon.

“The additional spending and multi-year nature of the package should provide the sector with the confidence to ramp up recruitment, training, and capital investment, with more yet to come,” says Blair.

“Te Waihanga – the NZ Infrastructure Commission – will be producing a long-term infrastructure strategy for New Zealand within the next two years that we expect will reveal tens of billions of infrastructure need across the country.

“Our water, schools, hospitals, climate resilience, defence, and housing infrastructure all have significant needs.

“Today’s announcements show central government’s funding power, however local government owns 40 per cent of our infrastructure and largely control RMA processes which are critical to delivering projects.

“We call for enhanced partnership between central and local government (including the right funding and incentives), to maximise the effectiveness of this top-down investment.

“The time is right to move our attitude from infrastructure ‘costs’ to ‘investments.’ With a strong fiscal position and low borrowing costs, there has never been a better time for a long-term, multi-partisan approach to investing in New Zealand’s future wellbeing," says Blair.

ENDS

For further information and comment contact Paul Blair on 021 902 436

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