Three Billion Dollar Infrastructure Boost A Good Start
Water New Zealand says the Government’s Budget plans to allocate another $3 billion to fund “shovel ready” infrastructure projects, on top of the previously allocated $12 billion, is welcomed but lacks detail.
Acting Chief Executive, John Mackie says that the additional budget allocation boosts the total allocation to $15b and will enable an early start on some of the projects compiled by the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group.
However, the detail of projects to be funded will not be known until the Infrastructure Reference Group reports back to Cabinet in the coming weeks or months.
He says that today’s budget did not identify which of the 1,924 “shovel ready” projects totalling an estimated $136 billion currently under consideration would be approved.
“While the extra $3-billion was identified as contingency funding, there may be more to come on the basis of today’s announcement, however, only a little over two percent of the initial “wish-list” would make the cut.
“We are also keen to see the detail of how this allocation is distributed over the infrastructure sectors which includes water, transport, housing, environment and health.
“Our hope is that water specific projects may make up a sizeable fraction of the $15-billion spend as water infrastructure has been identified as one of the critical areas for investment.
“We remain hopeful that water capture and storage schemes will feature in the final programme to provide sustainable community and productive use and improve drought resilience.”