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New report highlights failing infrastructure

Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Energy and Building Spokesman
28 September 2006

New report highlights failing infrastructure

Failing infrastructure is a serious risk to New Zealand’s future economic prospects and must be urgently addressed, says National’s Energy and Building Spokesman Nick Smith.

He is commenting on a just-released report from the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development.

“The Government has its head in the sand on the seriousness of New Zealand’s infrastructure problems and this report should bring some reality to the situation,” says Dr Smith.

“The Auckland blackout, Wellington’s gas failure, South Island power cuts, persistent problems over traffic congestion, and the state of the rail network, all point to an infrastructure crisis.

“The warning in this report is that New Zealand’s infrastructure decline is more acute than in other countries, and that we do not have the planning or consent processes in place to fix them.

“This report makes absolutely plain the need to reform the Resource Management Act. The Government’s refusal to listen to this advice is a long-term recipe for disaster.

“National has just established a policy taskforce on infrastructure, led by former Institute of Professional Engineers of NZ President Tony Gibson, to advance the very issues identified in this report.

“Addressing the infrastructure problems identified in this report is a key part of National’s programme to lift New Zealand’s economic performance.”

ENDS

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