Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Trade Minister Todd McClay have welcomed appointments and reappointments to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Board (NZTE) and the New Zealand Story Board (NZ Story Board).
Carmel Fisher has been appointed to the NZTE Board and Robin Hapi has been reappointed.
“Carmel has a wealth of experience in the investment industry in New Zealand and I’m confident she will provide valuable insights and expertise to the Board. She is a seasoned investment professional with more than 30 years' experience in the New Zealand investment industry,” Mr Bridges says.
“Robin has been a strong contributor to the Board. With his recent appointment as Chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board he will bring a wealth of knowledge about opportunities for Māori economic development and engagement with Māori stakeholders,” Mr Bridges says.
"Under our ambitious new trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, the Government is committed to helping kiwi companies move from market access to market success," Mr McClay says.
"NZTE and NZ Story are important contributors to the continued success of our exporters in overseas market," Mr McClay says.
Cameron Harland has been appointed Chair to the NZ Story Board. Stephen Smith has been reappointed as a member.
“We’re pleased with the progress that continues to be made with NZ Story and note the importance of maintaining private sector expertise on the Board. We’re happy to be able to retain both Stephen Smith and Cameron Harland and confident they will continue to make strong contributions,” Mr Bridges says.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has welcomed plans for Auckland’s Harbour Bridge to be transformed at night with a state-of-the-art, sustainable, world first lighting system.
“The Harbour Bridge is an iconic Auckland landmark and this exciting use of technology will transform Auckland’s night-time skyline.
“In a world first, the energy required for the nearly 90,000 LED lights and 200 floodlights will be offset by solar and battery technology,” Mr Bridges says.
The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Vector are working together to install the state-of-the-art LED lighting system for Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.
“This further enhances New Zealand’s reputation as an innovative, forward leaning country that is committed to environmentally and fiscally sound ideas to store and use energy.
“When complete, Auckland will be able to showcase spectacular night-time lighting shows that will be a significant attraction for both Aucklanders and visitors to the city,” Mr Bridges says.
The LED lights will use half the energy and will last five times longer than standard lighting, and only need replacing every 10-15 years. The energy required will be offset by 700 solar panels installed near the Harbour Bridge where a large battery will store the energy.
“As well as providing a great attraction for Auckland, this project will future proof a key asset further securing Auckland’s economic, environmental and social futures,” Mr Bridges says.
Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of their first test rocket on the Mahia Peninsula.
“Today’s successful launch is a major milestone in the development of New Zealand’s space industry,” says Mr Bridges.
“It is the first visible sign of a space industry in New Zealand and is an achievement Rocket Lab, and all New Zealanders can be proud of.”
New Zealand is now one of 11 countries currently able to launch satellites into space from their own territory and the first to launch from a fully private orbital launch range.
“The potential benefits for our economy are very significant. These include opportunities to grow in areas related to the space industry such as research, materials development and testing, and to attract other space related companies to set up in New Zealand, and even space tourism,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Government is supportive of any industry that grows our economy through high-tech, innovative highly skilled activities.”
A range of government agencies, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is also ensuring launch activities are safe and secure.
“We hope the launch will encourage others to come to New Zealand and enjoy the same attractive features that Rocket Lab is taking advantage of, including good access to orbits, clear skies, a skilled workforce and an innovation friendly environment,” says Mr Bridges.
The Government will invest $9.17 billion in capital into New Zealand’s state highway network over the next four years through the New Zealand Transport Agency, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
“This will be the Government’s biggest ever investment in our state highway network and it is a key pillar of the Government’s commitment to building the infrastructure for a growing country,” Mr Bridges says.
The $9.17 billion is made up of:$4.84 billion from the National Land Transport Fund. $1.00 billion in committed Crown funding for the reinstatement of State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch, Auckland Transport Package and Regional State Highways Package. $1.43 billion in public-private partnerships (Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth). $1.90 billion in other funding from NZTA (primarily depreciation funding).
Budget 2017 provides $812 million in total for the reinstatement of damaged sections of State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch following the Kaikōura earthquakes.
“This essential investment not only provides for a more resilient and safer transport system, but the increased network capacity supports economic growth throughout New Zealand,” Mr Bridges says.
Key projects being progressed over the next four years include:The completion of Auckland’s Western Ring Route. The Northern and Southern Corridor State Highway 1 improvements in Auckland. The East-West Link in Auckland. The Huntly and Hamilton sections of the Waikato Expressway. The State Highway 1 Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway. The Northern Arterial and the Southern Motorway Extension in Christchurch. The Transmission Gully and Pūhoi to Warkworth Public Private Partnerships. The Whirokino trestle bridge replacement in Manawatu-Whanganui. The Mt Messenger-Awakino Gorge corridor in Taranaki. The Motu Bridge replacement in Gisborne.
“The Government expects to open 540 new lane kilometres of state highways over the next four years. This will be the largest increase in state highway capacity in decades,” Mr Bridges says.
“A key focus of the programme is the completion of the current Roads of National Significance projects. These are lead infrastructure projects that link our major cities with the regions, and link our export sectors with the key ports. They help promote economic growth while increasing the ability to move people and freight around safely and reliably.”
“We are also investing more in regional roading projects that improve journey times and reliability, and remove bottlenecks. The regional investments are also hugely important for our growing tourism industry.”
The Government is committed to making New Zealand’s communications network one of the best in the world, Communications Minister Simon Bridges says.
Minister Bridges spoke at the 2017 Rural Connectivity Symposium in Wellington today.
“In 2009 the internet in New Zealand was slow, and many people didn’t have adequate access at all – particularly in rural areas,” Mr Bridges says.
“We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Over 1.1 million households and businesses can now connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband, and over one-third of those are already connected.
“In addition to this, over 90 per cent of the population outside of Ultra-Fast Broadband areas – over 300,000 rural households and businesses – can access new or improved broadband.
“Our target for connectivity is that by 2025, 99 per cent of New Zealanders will be able to access peak download speeds of 50 Megabits per second or better, and the remaining one per cent able to access at least 10 Megabits per second.
“Rural connectivity is a core part of the Government’s plan to support our regional economies and our target reflects this – it’s about ensuring that all New Zealanders can take advantage of the benefits of improved connectivity,” Mr Bridges says.
Speaking at the Symposium, Minister Bridges outlined the Government’s objectives for the next phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative, and the Mobile Black Spot Fund.
“These programmes focus on improving broadband services in more rural and remote areas, and improving mobile coverage on stretches of State Highway and in tourism locations which do not currently have coverage from any mobile operator.
“Achieving the 2025 targets will require both private and public sector input, so I’m especially pleased by the strong engagement and response to the tender process for these programmes.
“The process was designed to be as accessible as possible so that respondents both large and small could propose creative solutions, and the bids certainly demonstrate this,” Mr Bridges says.
Crown Fibre Holdings is currently reviewing the proposals received and announcements about where deployment will occur will be made once commercial negotiations are completed.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has today marked the completion and start of two important cycleway links for Rotorua’s growing urban walking and cycling network.
Mr Bridges opened the 1.6km Morey Street/Brent Road section of Rotorua’s CyWay which will connect the East side of the network to Te Ngae Road and the Whakarewarewa Forest.
He also announced the start of work on the bike and pedestrian-friendly connection between the City, lakefront and Rotorua's iconic Kuirau Park and Government Gardens.
“These paths provide a safe, shared route for cycles, scooters and walkers who want to get to their school, work and home, or make their way to the beautiful Rotorua lakefront,” Mr Bridges says.
“When it is finished next year the entire 23.7 kilometres of Rotorua’s $5.52 million CyWay will make cycling an even more attractive option for transport in the city.
“It will also have benefits for tourism and economic development by furthering Rotorua’s reputation as a cycling destination and recreation-friendly city,” Mr Bridges says.
The CyWay is jointly funded by the Government’s Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund, and Rotorua Lakes Council.
“This project is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work in partnership,” Mr Bridges says.
Through the Urban Cycleways Programme, central and local Government are working together to deliver $333 million of new cycleway projects throughout the country.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today announced work is set to begin on a multi-million dollar fire deluge system that will improve safety and reduce the risk of lengthy closures at Lyttelton Tunnel.
“In addition to improving safety, the project will also increase the resilience of a route that is an economic lifeline for Christchurch, Canterbury and the South Island,” Mr Bridges says.
“Rock falls from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake closed the main alternative road link to Lyttelton. Since then the Tunnel has provided the most direct freight access to the town and port.
“A tunnel closure because of a fire could have a serious economic impact on Christchurch, Canterbury and the South Island. This deluge system once installed will reduce this risk and improve fire safety for tunnel users.”
The $28.7 million project is the largest project undertaken at the tunnel since it opened in 1964. The contract has been awarded to McConnell Dowell, with work set to start in the coming weeks.
A fire sprinkler system is the most effective means of managing fire risk in the Lyttelton Tunnel. The system is designed to control and contain a fire until fire services reach the scene.
The project involves the construction of two reservoirs, two pump stations, and the installation of 9km of pipe work and 2,400 fire sprinkler nozzles throughout the tunnel.
Most work will be conducted in the ducts above the tunnel with minimal disruption to traffic. Some night-time tunnel closures and single-lane operations will be required. The project is expected to be complete by December 2018.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says current investigations into cycle share schemes in both Auckland and Christchurch shows the increasingly significant contribution cycling is now making to our transport system.
The NZ Transport Agency and Christchurch City Council are investigating whether to introduce a cycle share scheme in Christchurch, and Auckland Transport is beginning a study into the introduction of a similar scheme for Auckland city centre.
“We now live in a world where technology is creating new ways to connect customers and service providers. These technologies have also opened the door to new ways of solving some of our long-standing transport challenges, with e-bikes already becoming part of the solution for cities around New Zealand,” Mr Bridges says.
“Cycle share schemes are an important part of the transport system in more than 700 cities internationally, and they hold real promise here.
“By researching the feasibility of a cycle share scheme for Auckland and in Christchurch, together with our partners we’re creating an opportunity to develop more integrated transport systems that give both residents and visitors, more options about how they get around our towns and cities.
“Cycle share schemes also have the potential to add value and optimise investment in cycleways and shared paths as these increase across the country.
“The Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme is delivering a $333 million dollar programme of cycling infrastructure and initiatives across New Zealand, and cycling is becoming an everyday part of more and more people’s lives,” Mr Bridges says.
“In the past two years we’ve completed projects such as Auckland’s Te Ara Whiti Lightpath and Quay Street cycleway, and Christchurch’s Unicycle route. As a result we’re seeing a strong uptake in the number of people choosing to get around these cities by bike. I look forward to seeing what the investigation work recommends.”