29 Sep 2020

ACT announces infrastructure policy

6:30 pm on 29 September 2020

ACT says it would allow central and regional governments to establish 30 year infrastructure partnerships in order to streamline projects if elected.

ACT leader David Seymour, on the Election 2020 campaign trail.

ACT leader David Seymour. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The party has announced its infrastructure policy, which it says "takes the politics out".

ACT leader David Seymour says infrastructure isn't being delivered efficiently enough, with the "heart of the problem" a separation between planning at a local government level and funding coming mainly from central government.

Three-decade infrastructure partnerships would "devolve revenue and responsibility to regional governments and the private sector, while strengthening accountability and oversight from central government," he says.

"In exchange for receiving infrastructure funding, regional governments will be required to meet high standards. Central government would monitor outcomes and future funding would be tied to performance against expectations."

Seymour says the ACT policy would allow infrastructure decisions to be made based on economic need and getting the "biggest bang for the infrastructure buck", while preventing infrastructure being used as "vote buying".

"Central government would form partnerships with the existing councils in 10 regions. No new layer of government would be formed, but the councils in each region would be signatories to a regional partnership with central government. Councils and their residents would be able to decide which region to join.

"Regional infrastructure plans would be funded from a variety of sources, with the mix chosen to suit the project.

"From the point of view of central government, partnerships with the regions will become the one stop shop for infrastructure development. Rather than channelling money through various agencies and funds, all central government funds would be channelled through the partnerships."

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