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Infrastructure investment vital to survive crisis

20th October, 2007

Infrastructure investment is vital to surviving the economic crisis

Strong infrastructure investment is vital to ensure New Zealand survives the current economic crisis and emerges stronger and more competitive, according to the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) and the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ).

“Significant investment is needed to return key infrastructure sectors to an appropriate level of service,” says IPENZ CEO Dr Andrew Cleland. “We need to focus on electricity generation and transmission, critical highway links and rail developments.”

IPENZ and ACENZ are keen to hear more from National and Labour because both parties consider increasing funding for infrastructure and bringing forward spending.

Kieran Shaw, CEO of ACENZ, says, “We believe that expediting essential infrastructure works is in the public interest. Early and ongoing action will restore robust national infrastructure networks to service the country in the future and enable a faster recovery from the current crisis.”

IPENZ and ACENZ support a planned approach to infrastructure investment and believe that New Zealand infrastructure must continue to serve the country well into the future irrespective of current economic circumstances.

Kieran Shaw adds “While we appreciate the view that early and targeted investment in an infrastructure programme may stimulate the economy at a critical time, we also propose that Innovative ways of funding should be explored to maximise value from the investment. The investment should take a consistent and long-term perspective rather than that of a short term remedial action. In addition, we need investment to build both skills and new industries.”

The engineering bodies agree with a recent statement from the New Zealand Institute and NZX that “now is the time for bold, preferably bipartisan, leadership to ensure that New Zealand can weather the storm and emerge quickly and strongly”.

Professional Engineers offer their support and advisory capacity to all parties to assist in determining priority projects, and in defining an appropriate infrastructure programme.


ENDS

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