Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Regional Economic Development
Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says today’s capital investment announcements show the Coalition Government is the Government of Infrastructure.
$7 billion in projects have been announced today as part of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will see capital spending at its highest rate in more than 20 years. Further significant investment in regional New Zealand will be announced in coming weeks.
“Everybody knows New Zealand has a serious deficit in infrastructure, particularly in the regions, but this Government has laid the groundwork which makes addressing this shortfall possible,” Shane Jones said.
“Removing the common roadblocks which frustrate the delivery of major projects was a major driver behind establishing the Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga. Since its establishment late last year the Commission has already released a pipeline of major capital works, provided advice on project delivery, and begun work on a 30 year infrastructure strategy.
“Those in the infrastructure sector know they now have a Government making it easier to get on with what they do best – building the schools, hospitals, roads, rail, and other networks we rely on as the backbone of the economy and our day to day lives.
“That’s why New Zealanders can have confidence we will deliver on not only today’s announcements, but more broadly on the near $50 billion in capital spending forecast for the next five years. This is great news for jobs and growth.”
Today also saw a strong focus on regional infrastructure, with a number of major provincial transport projects supported - and more to come.
More than $2.8 billion has been dedicated to regional roads and rail, including $817 million for the Otaki to North of Levin road, $692m for SH1 Whangarei to Port Marsden, and $34m for rural intersection improvements in Canterbury, while regional schools and health facilities have also received a boost.
“Our regions are full of great ideas and innovative people. There’s a big need for infrastructure to support this potential, and ensure economic prosperity isn’t limited to our urban centres.
“Through the Coalition Government’s $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, we’ve already shown a commitment to addressing this through investing heavily in remedial projects, such as the North Auckland Line upgrade, the $137 million Tairāwhiti roading package, the Kaikōura Marine Development Programme, and improved access to high-speed broadband for marae and rural areas.
“There’s more to be done, however, and in coming weeks I will be announcing the first projects supported through the additional $300 million allocated for regional development opportunities last month.
“I look forward to sharing more good news for the provinces shortly,” Shane Jones said.