Regional Infrastructure Partnerships Worthy Of Cross Party Support
“City and regional infrastructure partnerships would go a long way to depoliticising investment decision-making and supporting regional development,” says Infrastructure NZ Policy Director Hamish Glenn.
“Today, ACT announced its intention to establish partnerships between central and local government to fund and deliver agreed infrastructure programmes.
“The proposals are consistent with Infrastructure New Zealand’s 2019 Building Regions report which sets out comprehensive reform for how the country plans, funds, and delivers infrastructure.
“Partnerships would empower regions to deliver infrastructure according to a 30-year plan which they would co-develop with central government.
“Central government would monitor performance and provide funding where regional and central goals aligned.
“Flexible funding through shared GST, increased user charges, as well as existing tools such as local rates, central government funding, and PPPs, would give regions certainty about their options and allow them to strategically plan development according to both future demands and possible revenue.
“Ideally, these partnerships would be aligned with the Infrastructure Commission’s 30-year strategy and implemented via a reformed planning system.
“It’s pleasing to see political momentum growing for new incentive-based approaches to solve New Zealand’s longstanding growth and development challenges.
“We cannot as a country expect to overcome the issues of the past and recover from COVID using the same approaches which gave rise to simultaneous housing, transport and water crises.
"A partnership approach which improves infrastructure decision making, supports regional development and enables collaboration with local government should be a priority for all political parties," says Glenn.