18 Feb 2024
Of the 231 shovel-ready projects Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson announced to much fanfare last year, only one project has been completed, National’s Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Bayly says.
“It has been has been 12 months since the shovel-ready infrastructure projects were announced. By most normal definitions of the words shovel-ready, we would have expected all of the projects to be either completed, or at the very least well underway.
“Unfortunately only one project has been completed, that project being Stage 1 of a larger project which is still in planning, and according to Grant Robertson a whopping 116 projects haven’t even begun construction.
“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, but half of them haven’t even seen shovels.
“It will be difficult for New Zealanders to understand how Minister Robertson was able to call these projects ‘shovel-ready’, when by all accounts hardly any shovels have actually hit the ground, and in some case haven’t at all.
“The shovel-ready projects involve hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Yet Mr Robertson will not tell us most of the details of these projects.
“Despite asking for more information, the Minister won’t give New Zealanders an update on how many people are employed working on the jobs, how many will be employed, or how much the projects have cost taxpayers so far.
“The projects are now competing with the private sector for workers and resources, and one has to ask whether some of these projects are even going to proceed.
“Labour’s legacy will be big promises and an inability to deliver, costing taxpayers millions along the way.”