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NZ infrastructure networks performing well

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

18 February 2014

NZ infrastructure networks performing well

The first comprehensive analysis of the performance and condition of New Zealand’s infrastructure networks confirms they are performing well, but there are challenges ahead, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“Until now, we have not had a complete picture about the condition and performance of our entire national infrastructure networks,” he says.

“The first National Infrastructure Evidence Base, published today by the National Infrastructure Unit, provides that essential information and will allow us to more effectively invest for growth.

“It concludes that good progress has been made in coordinating and planning investment in our national infrastructure networks. It also highlights some of the challenges that lie ahead, including the need to better understand the drivers of future demand for infrastructure and the options for meeting that demand in a growing economy.

“This information will help us address our future infrastructure challenges and opportunities, and help inform decisions we make to manage them. It will also provide a benchmark for tracking progress over time.

“The National Infrastructure Evidence Base has involved a range of government agencies, local government and private sector infrastructure users and providers working together,” Mr English says. “It’s a good example of the collaboration needed when considering long-term investment decisions.”

Despite the domestic recession and global financial crisis, over the past five years the Government has made a multi-billion dollar investment in priority new infrastructure such as roads, rail, ultra-fast broadband, irrigation, electricity transmission and rebuilding Christchurch.

“This investment has added almost $16 billion of infrastructure assets to the Government’s books over the last three years alone,” Mr English says.

“It has supported thousands of jobs across the country and is helping to build a solid platform for sustainable economic growth.

“As the evidence base notes, we face a range of infrastructure challenges, including from technology and demographic changes. Therefore, our traditional ways of spending more and building more infrastructure will need to change if we are to meet those challenges.

“With over $120 billion of taxpayer-owned infrastructure assets, there is plenty of scope to use these assets better, to manage and smooth our demand and to optimise our investment. Even small changes can have significant impacts,” Mr English says.

The National Infrastructure Evidence Base documents are available at: http://www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/2011implementation/evidencebase

• Around $16 billion of infrastructure assets added to the Government balance sheet over the last three years – buildings, state highways, electricity generation assets, electricity transmission assets, rail network, ultra-fast broadband and other plant, property and equipment.
• $650 million invested in the national electricity transmission grid over the past three years, with a further $295 million forecast this year.
• About $690 million invested in the roll out of Ultra-fast Broadband and the Rural Broadband Initiative.
• Over $2 billion invested in New Zealand's railways, including Auckland and Wellington metropolitan rail since 2011.
• The $12.28 billion national land transport programme between 2012 and 2015 is the largest ever in New Zealand.
• $1.74 billion expected investment in public transport between 2012 and 2015 - a 21 per cent increase over 2009-2012.
• $1 billion allocated to the 21st Century Schools from the Future Investment Fund.
• $1.83 billion of estimated infrastructure spending in Christchurch and another $1.48 billion of estimated spending on Crown assets following the earthquakes. Over $1 billion allocated to the greater Christchurch education renewal programme.
• $746 million of health property plant and equipment forecast this year.


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