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Good progress on infrastructure but big challenges remain

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Good progress on infrastructure but big challenges remain

NZCID Media Statement
1 November 2012

The Building Infrastructure progress report released today appropriately celebrates positive progress on the government's Business Growth Agenda," says Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development.

"It is particularly pleasing to see the government continuing its commitment to invest in productive infrastructure despite difficult economic times.

"Current initiatives including the investment in road and rail, electricity transmission, telecommunications and social infrastructure, among others, are supporting thousands of jobs across the sector and building New Zealand's productive capacity.

"New announcements today to further test the feasibility of a new ferry port at Clifford Bay, expand investment in skills training, including pre-trade training for 900 new workers for the Christchurch rebuild, and the commitment to provide free ultrafast broadband connections to 99.7% of homes across the nation are all very positive developments.

"But, while we celebrate the success of what is being achieved, we must also acknowledge that there are many significant challenges to be addressed. These include bridging the multi-billion dollar transport funding gap in Auckland whilst ensuring there is sufficient funding for continued investment in transport networks across the nation; better managing demand for use of infrastructure services; improving long term infrastructure and land use planning and governance; further streamlining RMA and other complex regulatory processes; resolving how we provide for economic growth while improving water quality and sustaining our natural heritage; improving the resilience of our infrastructure networks against natural hazards and the impacts of climate change; and optimising value from infrastructure investment and procurement processes.

"Today's infrastructure progress report shows that since the mid 2000s NZ has achieved a step change in delivering infrastructure investment needed to improve living standards for New Zealanders. The challenge now is to move from catch-up and rebuild to providing the physical infrastructure platform for sustained economic growth into the future," Selwood says.


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