Increased infrastructure investment will continue to play a critical part in securing New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19.
“For decades New Zealand’s infrastructure has been neglected. This has helped fuel the housing crisis, made it difficult to reduce emissions and negatively affected our productivity and overall wellbeing,” Grant Robertson said.
“We must address our current infrastructure deficits while also meeting future needs caused by population growth and climate change.
“When we took office we inherited a four year infrastructure plan of $32.5 billion. Since then we have made steady increases in order to plug the infrastructure deficit we see in schools and hospitals.
“Budget 2022 lifts our investment again to $61.9 billion of Crown spending on infrastructure from 2022 to 2026,” Grant Robertson said.
“We’re making the investments needed to modernise hospitals and Budget 2022 provides $1.3 billion for health capital for the next two years. This year’s health infrastructure budget delivers critical investment for rebuilds of hospitals in Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton,” Health Minister Andrew Little said.
Budget 2022 includes additional funding so that the first stage of the redevelopment Whangārei hospital can be completed. $572 million was committed in Budget 2021 and further funding has been reserved in this budget.
The redeveloped hospital is expected to provide an Acute Services Building, including an Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Radiology and theatre suite, a new Children’s health unit and whanau house.
Budget 2022 includes initial funding for the redevelopment of Nelson Hospital allowing for design and enabling works.
Canterbury’s Hillmorton project is given the go ahead with $78.3 million provided in Budget 2022, adding to the $14 million already allocated from Budget 2021.
“The project is a new 80 bed adult acute inpatient mental health unit. The facility will deliver modern adult mental healthcare and increase safety for patients and staff,” Andrew Little said.
“The Government is committed to continuing the progress it has made in schooling infrastructure, and is putting another $777 million in capital investment. This includes $219 million in capital funding that will be provided directly to schools over the next nine years to spend on replacing furniture and equipment,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.
The school property portfolio funding in today’s Budget continues this pipeline and aims to fund a further 280 classrooms at over 40 schools. Funding is also provided for the purchase of land for eight new school sites.
“Budget 2022 invests a further $88 million in the Christchurch School Rebuild programme to continue the good work that has been done to restore and improve school property in the city.
“It also includes $105 million in capital funding to ensure Māori-medium kura have good quality classrooms and to purchase new sites for kura. This takes the total funding allocated to Māori medium education property to $222 million since 2019. This Government is committed to growing and improving the property of the Māori medium education network.
“I’m really proud of the Government’s investment in school property. This Budget builds on the $2.8 billion we’ve invested in the school property portfolio since 2018, including $400 million across 2,054 schools in the School Investment Package and $209 million for 115 schools in the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme.
“During this time, we have provided funding for 13 new school projects, 15 school expansions, 15 planning and design projects, and funded 1,130 classrooms,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We are continuing to support the restoration of the national rail network, to improve resilience and to support freight rail and metropolitan rail growth. A $349 million investment includes buying 29 new mainline locomotives and 140 wagons to help us move more freight by rail, reducing emissions and congestion,” Transport Minister Michael Wood said.
“Effective emergency responses are crucial to safeguarding people and property in our aviation system, that’s why we are investing in the design and construction of a purpose built facility for Whangārei Airport’s Rescue and Firefighting Service.
“The Southern Tiare is the sole vessel carrying export and import goods from the Chatham Islands to the mainland, visiting ports in Auckland, Napier and Christchurch. The vessel is nearing its end of life and I know the Chatham Islands community will be relieved that action is being taken to ensure they continue to have a reliable transport connection. Funding has been provided to find a way to ensure the service continues.
“We are also focused on the nation’s supply chain. Through COVID we saw how major international disruptions to supply chains can disrupt Kiwi businesses, limit the availability of key goods and increase the price of everyday goods and services. That’s why we’re exploring the feasibility of Manukau Harbour as a location for a future port, and of a potential dry-dock in Northland,” Michael Wood said.
Today’s announcement follows the CERF funding announcement which saw key transport initiatives take a front seat in New Zealand’s efforts to reduce emissions.
This investment builds on existing transport investments –
- National Land Transport Fund which contributes approximately $4.5 billion per year to national and local roading, public transport, safety, and walking and cycling
- New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $8.7 billion 10-year programme of transport projects all over New Zealand.