The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga welcomes the billions of dollars allocated towards infrastructure in today’s Budget, including $3 billion for ‘shovel-ready’ projects, additional rail investment, free trades training and funding towards social housing, but warns further long-term infrastructure needs must not be ignored.
“In this time of crisis, it’s essential that we find ways to kickstart the economy. Infrastructure has an important role to play, especially through the large number of people the construction sector employs,” says Te Waihanga Chair Dr Alan Bollard.
“Te Waihanga has been part of the selection process of ‘shovel-ready’ projects through the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, with recommendations to be presented soon – and we look forward to those projects receiving a much-needed boost to get things moving. However, there are also projects that won’t be able to commence within the next 12 months but will need attention for the long-term benefit of all New Zealanders, such as aging water pipes. It’s also important that infrastructure investment addresses future needs such as climate change mitigation.”
Te Waihanga is in the process of developing its 30-year strategy for infrastructure in New Zealand, and is consulting extensively with key stakeholders to identify gaps and strengths. The strategy will be presented to the Government in 2021.