The Minister of Infrastructure has today re-announced National’s 2017 Infrastructure policy ten months later with less detail and more uncertainty around PPP’s, National’s Infrastructure spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.
“Even if it did take the Minister ten months to figure out that this was the right idea for infrastructure, it is the first step towards a better plan.
“However, this Government needs to be clear about whether they are actually willing to work with the infrastructure sector to deliver projects for New Zealanders.
“Our plan was ready to go and we were lining up projects such as the Waikeria Prison construction, the Dunedin Hospital rebuild as well as projects building new schools and roads across New Zealand with public-private-partnerships, managed by the National Infrastructure Commission.
“Yesterday, I called on the Minister to adopt National’s 2017 plan to establish a National Infrastructure Commission that would work across the government to connect key infrastructure projects to private funding as public-private-partnerships.
“Minister Jones announcement does not clarify whether the government is abandoning their ideological opposition to PPPs that have already seen projects like the Dunedin Hospital, Waikeria Prison and East West Link fall off the radar.
“The new infrastructure body needs to be able to work constructively with the sector to connect much needed projects to the funding that can see them built quickly and effetely.
“The Government’s opposition to using PPPs is leading to projects being deferred or simply not put on the agenda and that is harming our communities who need them and causing a slowdown in our infrastructure sector.
“Unless they abandon this position, any new infrastructure body will simply be another working group.
NOTE TO EDITORS: National’s 2017 announcement can be found here: https://www.national.org.nz/more_ppps_to_boost_infrastructure_spend