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Call for unified voice on infrastructure woes

Call for unified voice on urgent infrastructure woes

All local body Council’s, Regional Councils, business and community groups should combine forces to press Government for greater urgency to address the nation’s infrastructure woes.

This call comes from the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development which is becoming increasingly concerned about continued deferral of critical infrastructural upgrades.

“Barely a day goes without some major infrastructure development being deferred, through lack of funding, failure to gain resource consent, or indecision, NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood said today.

“Last week the news was that major Auckland roading projects might be deferred for 10 years because there won’t be enough money over that time to fund both public transport and roading improvements.

“This week, a decision on securing electricity supply has been deferred, and existing transport projects ready to start won’t be funded unless Land Transport NZ can borrow from future regional funds.

“The on again off again approach causes business uncertainty and drives up costs.

“The danger is we become overly complacent in times of economic good fortune, while increasingly the nation’s core infrastructure reaches capacity and starts to fail.

“The costs of this are clearly demonstrated in rising energy costs, overflowing storm water drains, and congested and unsafe roads.

“Among the main causes of Auckland’s slow economic growth rate cited by the Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City sponsored Business and Economy 2005 study released last week were low productivity rates, pressure on vital roading infrastructure, and uncertainty about future energy supplies.

“The reality is that skilled worker productivity and capital investment in infrastructure are vitally linked.

“Productivity losses caused by lack of infrastructural investment are a daily event in Auckland where thousands of skilled work hours are wasted through unnecessary traffic delays as delivery trucks, builders, plumbers, electricians, sales people, and service workers, are held up on the roads.

“NZCID intends working with senior local body politicians and business leaders to encourage a united approach to Government to set out these concerns”, Mr Selwood said.

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