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PMs Focus on Economic Transformation Welcome

Prime Ministerial Focus on Economic Transformation Welcome

Media Release 20 January 2006

The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development has welcomed comments by the Prime Minister to the NZ Herald that developing infrastructure is high on the Government's economic transformation agenda, and that regulatory reform might be needed.

"Given the expected decline in economic growth, Prime Ministerial focus on infrastructure investment is vital", says NZCID CEO Stephen Selwood.

"While there has been a marked increase in investment in recent years, analysis shows that New Zealand continues to lag behind other OECD nations in the amount that it is investing in its core infrastructure like roads, rail, energy transmission and generation, water and public utilities."

"A recent report undertaken for NZCID by the Institute for Economic Research indicated that while international comparisons are difficult, the New Zealand figures show there has been long term decline in infrastructure spending as a share of GDP, and less productivity improvement than in Australia."

"Concerns about inadequate infrastructure are shared by senior executives across the country and overseas. The World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey (2005) ranked inadequate supply of infrastructure as the most problematic factor for doing business in New Zealand."

"The problem is that these negative perceptions influence investment decision making by both domestic and foreign investors and inhibit economic growth."

A partnership approach by Government is needed together with regulatory reform that will both enable and encourage private sector investment in public infrastructure, Selwood says.


Copies of recent research commissioned by NZCID and others are available on the resources section of the NZCID web site: www.nzcid.org.nz and include:
"Benchmarking NZ Infrastructure Provision with Other Countries", NZIER Sept 2005
"Comparing Infrastructure in NZ and Australia", GHD October 2005
"The Road Less Travelled - Investing in New Zealand's Infrastructure", Macquarie Research Economics, December 2005

ENDS

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