- New Zealand government increases infrastructure investment
- New Zealand Infrastructure Commission publishing vision and draft strategy on priorities
In this fortnightly blog, ICE's Director of Policy Chris Richards looks at developing policy landscape for infrastructure, what decisions mean, and their implications, so that infrastructure professionals can play their part in shaping the discussion.
New Zealand Budget 2021 increases capital investment in infrastructure further
Following on from our report on Australia’s Federal Budget in the last Infrastructure Policy Watch, this week we look at New Zealand’s recent Budget. The headline announcements are that Budget 2021 takes the combined infrastructure investment for 2021-2025 to 57.3bn New Zealand dollars (NZD), up from 42bn NZD last year.
The Budget also included provisions for a new Housing Acceleration Fund, to increase the ‘pace and scale’ of new housing supply, as well as 300m NZD in extra capital for New Zealand’s Green Investment Bank.
Despite the headline figures, there are similar concerns to Australia in terms of ability to deliver. With unemployment falling In New Zealand and material costs rising around the world, short-term capacity challenges may impact on the Budget’s ambition for infrastructure at a time when the rest of the world is trying to do the same thing.
New Zealand Infrastructure Commission consults on future vision
The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission has kick started a consultation on the vision that will inform its strategy to identify the infrastructure needed over the next 30 years. The draft strategy outlines three actions areas:
- Building a better future: delivering infrastructure that is resilient and ready for change.
- Enabling competitive cities and regions: ensuring the infrastructure system supports the needs of people and improves connections within New Zealand and overseas.
- Creating a better system: a step change in planning, designing, funding and delivery of infrastructure.
Below each action area are a number of priority areas, outcomes and policy initiatives that the commission proposes need to be embedded to close the gap between between the infrastructure New Zealand needs and what it can afford.
The proposed priorities in the strategy include institutional and governance reform, particularly on planning; demand management through user charging, such as congestion pricing; supporting housing supply, supporting a zero-carbon economy and preparing for climate change; and greater rigour in the collection, transparency and use of data to support infrastructure performance.
In case you missed it...
- The chair of the ICE’s London region explains why re-elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan should put investment in infrastructure at the heart of his priorities to secure the capital’s future.
- The UK government has announced significant reforms to the operation and development of the railways in Great Britain. Beyond the headline announcements, what else needs to happen? We take a look in this blog.
- Matthew Oakley, from WPI Economics, outlines the main infrastructure findings of the business-led Covid Recovery Commission.
Check back in a fortnight for the next edition of the ICE's Infrastructure Policy Watch. You can also sign up to ICE Informs to get a monthly digest of the latest policy activities from ICE, including calls for evidence to support our ongoing advice to policymakers.