Govt’s shovel-ready project scheme fails to launch

Almost a year after the Government announced that ‘shovel-ready’ construction projects would be a major plank in its economic recovery plan, barely any shovels have actually made it into the ground.

National’s Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Bayly says the whole point of the Government’s flagship programme was speed.

“These were supposed to be projects that would be up and running in six to 12 months to help offset job losses elsewhere in the economy,” Mr Bayly says.

“Instead the Government has shown its typical lack of urgency when it comes to delivery, today revealing under questioning that of the 205 projects that are part of the scheme, construction has only started on 49.

“A further 15 projects that the Government announced are now being reviewed or re-evaluated, meaning they may not actually go ahead. This is despite the fact they were approved and announced only a matter of months ago.

“With the number of people on JobSeeker support surging to more than 200,000 over the summer, getting people into jobs working on these projects should be a priority.

“This Government continues to show it’s first-class at making grand announcements, but when it comes to doing the work and delivering results for struggling New Zealanders, time and time again it fails.”