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$2.1b investment in public infrastructure

Hon Bill English

Minister of Finance

26 May 2016

$2.1b investment in public infrastructure

Budget 2016’s $2.1 billion public infrastructure package will deliver on the Government’s commitment to build a stronger, more productive economy and deliver better public services, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Education, transport and housing will all receive considerable investment, as will the residents of Christchurch, who will see the results of the Government’s ongoing commitment to rebuilding and regenerating the city.

“Population growth, boosted by Kiwis returning home, is increasing demand for public services, so we are investing in infrastructure now to ensure all New Zealanders can continue having access to high quality public services,” Mr English says.

School infrastructure is a key part of the package. The $882.5 million investment will deliver 480 new classrooms, nine new schools, two school expansions as well as the relocation and rebuilding of three schools and a Kura.

This includes $168.5 million for the Christchurch schools rebuild programme, which is now in its third year and has completed six schools, with a further eight under construction.

Mr English says the infrastructure package also includes funding for the Government’s previously announced Accelerated Regional Roading Programme.

“Regional communities will be better connected with $115 million in Budget 2016 for roading projects in Gisborne, Marlborough and Taranaki,” he says.

Other parts of the infrastructure package include:

• $190.2 million for KiwiRail as part of the two-year package announced last year. The Government has a strong expectation that KiwiRail will continue to improve its performance to reduce the level of Crown support required in future.

• $37 million for tourism infrastructure. This includes $25 million to upgrade the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Nga Haerenga, and ensure it continues to offer a world-class visitor experience. A further $12 million is being provided to help communities with smaller-scale infrastructure projects, such as restrooms and carparks.

• $857 million for Inland Revenue to modernise the tax administration system and make it easier for New Zealanders to meet their tax obligations.

• $19.5 million for the construction of a high-security national biocontainment laboratory to help prevent the spread of high-risk diseases.

In addition, a further $599.6 million has been set aside in contingency for additional infrastructure investment.

“These major infrastructure projects will help deliver better public services and support solid economic growth into the 2020s,” Mr English says.

ENDS

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