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Parties Rank Infrastructure as key to Growth

Political Parties Rank Infrastructure as key to Social and Economic as key to Growth

Media release, 17 August 2005

"The NZ Council for Infrastructure Development is pleased to see the emphasis being placed by the major political parties on investment in the nation's infrastructure", says NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.

"It's clear that both Michael Cullen and Don Brash see infrastructure as being a critical to securing NZ's future social and economic growth.

"In a speech today to the Financial Planners and Insurance Association Michael Cullen has stressed skills, investment and infrastructure as being key to achieving the productivity growth needed to return New Zealand to the top half of the OECD.

"In a recent speech to the Contractors Federation, Don Brash promised a National led government will ensure New Zealand has top quality infrastructure, and will engage the collective action of both the public and private sectors to make sure that happens.

"It is pleasing to see the major political parties acknowledging the nation's infrastructure needs, although NZCID would like to see much faster action still. "The infrastructure deficit is demonstrated on a daily basis 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 earlier this year 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.

"A sense of urgency is needed. New Zealand needs to catch up with comparative nations, like Australia, who are investing much more heavily in infrastructure, and prospering as a result", Mr Selwood said.

ENDS

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