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Extra $500 million for Transport Welcome

Extra $500 million for Transport Welcome

23 June, 2005

The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development welcomes today's announcement by Finance Minister Michael Cullen of an additional $500 million to improve the transport network, says NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.

"This increase comes on top of the extra $100m a year over three years announced in the Budget and demonstrates government's increasing commitment to fixing New Zealand's crumbling infrastructure.

"While this is good progress, you don't have to look far to see there's a huge bow-wave of infrastructure demands looming. "Last week saw revelations that New Zealand's railway tracks are in an even worse state than initially thought.

"Estimates show that this is just the tip of an infrastructure iceberg.

"The Electricity Commission has projected between $3.5 billion and $7 billion is required to secure NZ's electricity supply. $billions are also required to bring the nation's water pipes, drains, treatment plants, and flood protection systems up to standard. NZCID projects the national state highway funding deficit will be in excess of $5 billion over the next 20 years, over and above the increased funding already announced by Government.

"Today's announcement is a good start but we need more than just one off short term increases in funding.

"Government needs to commit to a 20 year infrastructure development strategy, work with the private sector to agree the best way to finance it, and streamline the RMA and political decision making processes to empower the construction industry to get on with the job." Mr Selwood said.

ENDS

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