New Zealand’s economy is growing faster than in a long time and adding more jobs across the country. That’s a great thing, but to keep growing, it’s important we keep investing in the infrastructure that supports growth.
More infrastructure means new roads so people spend more time with family or friends. It means world class hospitals where people get treated quicker and with the most advanced equipment. It means 21st century schools that give kids the best start in life. And it means tens of thousands of new houses to ensure everyone has somewhere to call home.
National is proud to be the infrastructure government, and Budget 2017 takes our investment to another level with $4 billion in new investment to help build the infrastructure for a growing economy. This is the single biggest investment of new capital in one Budget by any government in decades, and brings our total investment in new infrastructure to $32.5 billion over the next four years – which is a 40 per cent increase on the last four years.
“We are heading back to a period of infrastructure we haven’t seen in a long time and it is well overdue. It is great tabling and such an ambitious plan,” says Nick Stewart, Financial Adviser, Stewart Group.
Improving and expanding transport infrastructure
A large part of our record investment is directed towards improving and expanding transport infrastructure. As part of our transport infrastructure package, the Government will invest $9.17 billion in new state highways alone.
“We are facing significant growth in some regions, particularly Hawke’s Bay, and having a strong transport network to get cargo to port - both by road and by rail - is vital to getting our high-quality products to global markets,” says Garth Cowie, CEO Napier Port.
This Government’s unprecedented investment includes:
- $812 million for the reinstatement of State Highway One north and south of Kaikōura.
- $450 million for rail infrastructure and rolling stock for KiwiRail’s rail network around New Zealand.
- $436 million for the first stage of Auckland’s City Rail Link to greatly boost the capacity of the commuter rail network in central Auckland.
- $98 million for upgrades to Wellington’s commuter rail network.
This Government has a strong track record as New Zealand’s infrastructure government and we plan on continuing down that path. We are investing $100 million to release Crown land for housing development around the country, and a further $2.2 billion across the next decade to build 34,000 new houses in Auckland as part of the Government’s Auckland Housing Programme.
“We are in the process of building more new hospitals and schools than New Zealand has seen in generation,” says Steven Joyce, Minister of Finance.
New infrastructure investment is not just for housing. Included in Budget 2017, National will be investing:
- $392 million for six new schools and 305 additional classrooms nationwide,
- $150 million towards the new building programme for hospitals around New Zealand.
- $763 million for new prison capacity
- $63 million invested in new water storage infrastructure in regional New Zealand
Nick Stewart, Financial Adviser of Stewart Group, says “it is really positive that we have got people looking after the public with the conviction of our future.
We have to grow our infrastructure to match our booming economy. These investments ensure that we have a successful thriving New Zealand for generations to come.