The recent announcement that infrastructure investment is to be boosted by $11 billion over the next four years is good news for business, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).
“Our region is under pressure, and we welcome this additional investment. It builds on the commitment made in 2016 to invest $110 billion in infrastructure over 10 years,” EMA chief executive Kim Campbell says.
“We have long advocated for the need to invest in much needed infrastructure to enable growth, and to cope with growth.
“Auckland’s growing pains are well known, and Tauranga and Hamilton are experiencing similar levels of discomfort as they struggle to cope with growth, while other regions such as Northland need infrastructure to enable growth,” Mr Campbell says.
“There are still a number of issues which need to be addressed if we want to truly enable long term, large scale investment in the country’s infrastructure and unlock the prosperity such investment will deliver,” he says.
“We need to look at new funding options for local government to enable these authorities to ably cope with their issues, whether that’s enabling growth or coping with it.
“Also, where is the discussion around using tools, other than relying on central government coffers, to enable this?
“We know there are many ways to access capital and there are investors waiting in the wings. Bond issues, congestion charging and public private partnerships are just some of the ways to raise this capital.
“And don’t forget, local authorities can also look to sell non-core assets to show a willingness to invest locally too.
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction and I look forward to better understanding the detail behind it, and also having a broader look at how we can sustainably enable more growth in New Zealand,” Mr Campbell says.