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New model to unlock infrastructure investment shortfall

New model to unlock infrastructure investment shortfall

A government initiative to allow public and private investment in critically needed infrastructure is a significant step forward for the country.

Crown Infrastructure Partners was launched today and goes some way to addressing particular concerns raised by the EMA.

"We have been pushing the need to look at different models to remedy our national infrastructure shortfall and we see today’s announcement as a clear win in this regard," say Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.

"In our recently released Election Manifesto two of the key areas we highlighted have been somewhat addressed by today’s announcement. Our manifesto stated the importance of expediting critical national infrastructure and the pressing need to broaden funding options available to local authorities."

Government announced today the re-purposing of Crown Fibre Holdings into Crown Infrastructure Partners in which it will co-invest $600m alongside local councils and private investors to fund road and water infrastructure for housing developments. The crown company will use the experience and skills gained in the fibre rollout to attract private investment in infrastructure necessary to open up large tracts of land for housing development.

This will alleviate pressure on cash-strapped councils which are struggling to fund new long-term infrastructure.

"This is targeted at enabling much needed housing development by resolving infrastructure shortfalls in the sector, although $600m will not go far. However, we are more interested in how this model will be used to address broader infrastructure investment issues.

"For example there are a number of major transport projects in the Golden Triangle or Auckland that require partial or complete funding by councils. When the new model is bedded in and successful it could easily be expanded to include these.

"Investment in critical national infrastructure is vital to drive the uplifts in economic and social wellbeing that New Zealanders expect. We need action and today’s announcement certainly bodes well for the bold steps which need to be taken to address our infrastructure shortfall," says Mr Campbell.


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