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Finance Minister: Announcement on infrastructure funding coming soon

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 July 2019, 7:53PM

The Finance Minister does think there is an infrastructure shortfall in New Zealand, but the Government's focus on transport won't focus on "three or four" major highways. 

The Business Advisory Council, chaired by Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon, last week presented a damning indictment of New Zealand's infrastructure regime saying there is "no overarching vision or leadership in New Zealand for infrastructure development".

"This means there is no nation-building narrative upon which to build a strategic direction," it says.

They want the Government to proceed with 12 roading projects that are on hold or under review, and open them to private investment, saying that public sector does not have the funding mechanisms to properly run these projects. 

Grant Robertson told Heather du Plessis-Allan that he has sympathy for their point of view, saying that the previous National Government reduced the amount of money being spent on infrastructure needs.

However, he says that he can't fully agree with their recommendation. 

"We recast our transport plan to be multi-module, so not just roads, but rail as well. It's really important not to focus on three or four major highways."

Robertson says that they are open to public-private partnerships for roading projects, and they are looking a variety of other options. 

"Ones where between local, central government and the private sector we share the risks, and create things for instance special purpose vehicles where we can take the projects off balance sheets of the councils and the government and get the private sector funding."

He says it is something they are looking at, and there will be more details on that soon. 

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