National Steals Chamber’s Policy on Infrastructure
National Party Steals Chamber’s Policy on Infrastructure
Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the National Party policy on infrastructure, much of which is very similar to the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce policy.
“New Zealand has experienced insufficient investment in infrastructure over the last two decades and consequently has infrastructure weaknesses which need to be fixed,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.
“These infrastructure weaknesses are particularly apparent in land transport, telecommunications, and electricity and they are impacting on productivity and growth in our economy.
“The current government has done well to provide catch-up spending over the last nine years, which has been welcome, but still more is needed. We welcome National’s policy and encourage Labour to match it.
“There is great scope to improve the efficiency of road funding in New Zealand. There needs to be more focus on commercial criteria and less on political and bureaucratic processes in allocating resources in this sector.
“The government should allow the use of more private sector investment including public private partnerships (PPPs) and borrowing to fund the new investment. This would help overcome capital constraints, accelerate planning and construction and provide access to private sector expertise. It will also allow the burden of their investment to be spread across generations.
“We are particularly supportive of the proposal to create a new category of road – roads of national significance which would get priority funding treatment. We have one such road in our region – State Highway One. It urgently needs an upgrade between Ngauranga to the Airport and Transmission Gully.
“One area of National’s policy which we are not so certain about is a new Minister of Infrastructure. If this meant a new government department we would not be supportive,” Mr Finny concluded.