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Infrastructure report sets out 67 initiatives


1 November 2012

Infrastructure report sets out 67 initiatives

The Government’s Building Infrastructure progress report issued today sets out 67 infrastructure initiatives being undertaken to help build a more competitive economy, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“For businesses to invest in plant and facilities in New Zealand, they need to be confident that they will have access to infrastructure that supports their businesses – transport, energy, water and telecommunications,” he says.

“That’s important because we don’t get real growth unless businesses have the confidence to invest, grow and employ more people.

“The Government has committed to significant investment in infrastructure over the past four years, as part of its wider programme to put the economy on a more competitive footing and support jobs.”

This includes:

• $5.5 billion for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund.

• $1.6 billion for ultra-fast broadband and faster rural broadband.

• $5 billion for the national electricity grid.

• $12.2 billion for roading between 2012 and 2015.

“Resilient, efficient and coordinated infrastructure networks are vital to a well-running economy. They help the movement of people, goods and information around our country and around our world,” Mr English says.

“The Government has made good progress in the past four years. We have also set up the National Infrastructure Unit within Treasury and have published two National Infrastructure Plans, to improve the coordination, quality and value for money of our significant infrastructure investment.

“This report brings together all of the initiatives the Government is undertaking to deliver the infrastructure networks demanded by a modern economy.”

Building Infrastructure is the fourth of six progress reports being released to set out activities within the Government’s Business Growth Agenda.

Other reports issued to date are Building Export Markets, Building Innovation and Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces. Future reports will cover natural resources and capital markets.

Building Infrastructure sets out the Government’s vision that, by 2030, New Zealand’s infrastructure is resilient and coordinated and contributes to economic growth and increased quality of life.

“This requires a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning and investment, setting a clear course for the future so that infrastructure providers from all sectors have a common understanding of expectations and policy settings.”

Building Infrastructure provides a progress report on infrastructure initiatives the Government is undertaking in the following areas:

• Strengthening rail, sea and air ports.

• Developing high-speed broadband and telecommunications.

• Improving water storage and use.

• Boosting housing, building and construction.

• Investing in hospitals and schools.

• Rebuilding Christchurch.

• Securing our energy future by supporting diverse sources of reliable and renewable energy.

• Building a fast and efficient roading network.

Next week, the National Infrastructure Unit and the National Infrastructure Advisory Board will publish the first annual report committed to under the National Infrastructure Plan, which the Government released in July last year.

The Government’s Building Infrastructure report is available at:

http://mbie.govt.nz//what-we-do/business-growth-agenda/infrastructure

Media contact: Craig Howie 027 7555 809

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What is the Business Growth Agenda?

The Business Growth Agenda is a detailed programme of initiatives the Government is taking to build a more productive and competitive economy. Together, they constitute a comprehensive agenda of microeconomic reform that will assist businesses to be more internationally competitive.

The Business Growth Agenda complements the Government’s macroeconomic commitments to responsibly manage the Government’s finances and deliver the ongoing stability businesses need to have confidence to invest, grow and create new jobs.

The Business Growth Agenda is about ensuring businesses have access to the six key ingredients they need to grow, create jobs and be successful. They include access to markets, innovation, skills and safe workplaces, capital markets, infrastructure, and resources.

The Government is focused on making access to these six key elements easier to give businesses the platform they need to become internationally competitive.

What is the purpose of the Building Infrastructure report?

This is the fourth of six progress reports focusing on each of the elements of the Business Growth Agenda. These reports provide a high-level assessment of the “state of play” in each area, give a clear picture of the advances being made and projects the Government is focused on.

The reports provide transparency to businesses about the work of government agencies, and seek feedback and input into the Government’s work plan. We expect business to use the reports to engage with the Government on its initiatives, indicating what they want to see more of, less of and any new initiatives they would like to see advanced.

Why is building efficient infrastructure important to New Zealand’s economy?

Infrastructure underpins growth by providing the supporting networks demanded by a growing economy, and it fosters growth by creating new economic opportunities. It also delivers the physical assets that enable us to successfully compete in the global economy and enjoy the quality of life we aspire to.
For businesses to invest in plant and facilities in New Zealand, they need to be confident that they will have access to infrastructure that supports their businesses – transport, energy, water and telecommunications.

What is the Government’s current level of investment in infrastructure?

The Government has committed to significant investment in infrastructure over the past four years, as part of its wider programme to put the economy on a more competitive footing and support jobs.

This includes:

• $5.5 billion for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund.

• $1.6 billion for ultra-fast broadband and faster rural broadband.

• $5 billion for the national electricity grid.

• $12.2 billion for roading between 2012 and 2015.

It has also introduced a more efficient framework for planning and investing in infrastructure. This includes setting up the National Infrastructure Unit within Treasury and publishing two National Infrastructure Plans, to improve the coordination, quality and value for money of its significant infrastructure investment.

How have businesses been involved in the development of this report?

Ministers have met regularly with a wide range of businesses and business organisations, and their feedback and comments have informed the actions presented in this report.

Business New Zealand has also arranged a number of business-led groups to provide input to and comment on the reports.

The Business Growth Agenda reports are a report on progress – we welcome feedback and comments on each report to assist further policy development, either through http://mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/business-growth-agenda/feedback/infrastructure or by email to bgafeedback@mbie.govt.nz


ends

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