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Infrastructure Funding in Budget

( New Zealand’s broadband, rail, schools and prisons will be strengthened through substantial infrastructure funding confirmed in the Budget, Infrastructure Minister Bill English says.

Budget 2010 allocates another $1.45 billion in capital spending in 2010/11 – the second year of a five-year $7.5 billion infrastructure funding plan.

In addition to Budget initiatives, the Government is investing $10.7 billion over the next 10 years in New Zealand’s State Highway network and $3.3 billion through Transpower in the next five years to upgrade the national grid.

“Tackling bottlenecks in our roading, electricity and telecommunications networks are a Government priority. However, we are also focused on providing high-quality social infrastructure like schools and prisons in a cost-effective way,” Mr English says.

“This programme is directly supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to a stronger economy, which over time will mean better wages and higher living standards for New Zealand families.

“But the Government’s approach to infrastructure is about more than just increasing investment. It’s also about improving the way we do things.

“We have released a 20-year National Infrastructure Plan, we are pursuing public-private partnerships where they make sense and developing more rigorous public sector asset management to ensure future capital spending is high quality and goes where New Zealand needs it most,” Mr English says.

Capital spending outlined in Budget 2010 over the next four years includes:
* Broadband – $200 million for the roll out of ultra-fast broadband, as well as $48 million more for broadband in schools.
* Rail – $500 million for electrification of Auckland rail lines, as well as $250 million for the wider rail network and rolling stock.
* Prisons – $337.4 million to lift prison capacity and manage justice sector pressures.
* Schools – $177.4 million for new schools and school property.

Media Release 20 May 2010 from Hon Bill English, Minister of Infrastructure.
Telephone: (04)817 6801



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