Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure
The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has set aside $3 billion to fund infrastructure projects across the country. This is in addition to the Government’s $12b New Zealand Upgrade Programme and Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure investments.
Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) will inject fresh capital, confidence and jobs into our economic recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Ministers will soon decide which projects to progress and consider advice from the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group (IRG) which has received a total of 1924 submissions across approximately 40 sectors with a combined value of $136b.
“In just a few short weeks, the IRG, through Crown Infrastructure Partners, has been able to collate the largest ever infrastructure and construction stocktake the nation has ever seen,” Shane Jones said.
“The IRG expects to deliver its report to Ministers in the coming weeks and will advise us on potential packages in different regions across the country in the sectors we as a Government wish to prioritise the most including water, transport, housing, environment and health.
“The focus of the projects the IRG has identified is threefold – immediate job creation and income growth, construction activity that will be under way within the next 12 months and a high degree of visibility to provide Kiwis with confidence that our economic recovery is hitting the ground running.”
These three principles are the same ones guiding the reprioritisation of the Provincial Growth Fund.
“We will have an eagle-eyed focus on implementation to ensure money is getting out of the door and projects are not languishing in bureaucratic red tape,” Shane Jones said.
“The success of any infrastructure stimulus will depend on our ability to execute projects. In addition to providing advice on potential projects, the IRG will also help us navigate what extraordinary powers may need to be used – including the new Resource Management Act fast track process – to get these projects going.”
Notes to editors:
The IRG was established because of concerns of a large downturn in the infrastructure and construction sector as a result of COVID-19, and was tasked with preparing a report for Government listing ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects from across local and central Government and the private sector.
The overall sector is approximately 13 per cent of GDP, employs well over 500,000 people and many more indirectly, plays a crucial role in respect of a number of nationally important projects, and has the potential to stimulate the economy if managed well.
The group is made up of Crown Infrastructure Partners chair Mark Binns, NZTA chair Sir Brian Roche, KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller, Provincial Growth Fund independent adviser Rosie Mercer, Dr Alan Bollard, chair of the Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development chief executive Andrew Crisp.