29 Jan 2020

Govt to announce $12b infrastructure spend targeting transport, schools and hospitals

7:48 am on 29 January 2020

The government is set to announce a $12 billion spend on infrastructure this morning, with more than half of that earmarked for transport projects.

Crane construction generic

A $12 billion infrastructure spend will include investment in transport, schools, hospitals, regional projects and more. Photo: Unsplash / Bence Bella Schottner

Investment in schools, hospitals, regional projects and a shift to more efficient heating for the public sector are also expected.

Head of industry group, Infrastructure New Zealand, Paul Blair

Paul Blair. Photo: Supplied

Infrastructure New Zealand's chief executive Paul Blair said the sector had been calling out "for years" for more investment.

He said much of the money marked for transport should go towards shovel-ready projects.

"As we all know, our resource management can take years and years. In order to get the benefits, we've got to pick a number of projects which are ready to go."

Blair said the spending would target roads - likely already signed off roads of national significance - and growth centres.

"I would expect to see things happening in Auckland ... Whangārei, around Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch and Queenstown, all round housing growth and getting people moving again."

He also expected funding for rail in Auckland and Wellington.

A key aspect to getting the work done would be the government's new construction sector accord.

"It really needs all parties, so that's the industry, government and local government to really work hard on a new way of working. If they do that in a partnership approach, we're going to get this stuff done and get it done well."

Blair said basic infrastructure like water and sewerage and health needed investment too.

The government is set to make a full announcement at 11am.