Social infrastructure is the clear winner from Budget 2016, with significant allocations made in housing, corrections and education, indicating that 2017 will be the year for investment in transport, particularly in Auckland, said New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.
Schools have taken centre stage in this years budget, with $700 million over four years committed to build 480 new classrooms. This amount includes $328.9 million of capital funding and $20.2 million of operating funding over the next four years for school PPPs which have been shown to provide better outcomes for students and teachers.
Social housing will also receive a much needed boost with close to $250 million over four years committed to increase social housing places in Auckland providing emergency shelter.
In addition, $100 million has been allocated to enable housing development on Crown land in Auckland. The finer details have yet to be announced but there is potential to use this funding to leverage private residential development at scale.
Hospital improvements are not yet clear, but DHBs have received a large increase in spending of around $400 million per annum.
Transport spending announcements have focused on the regions and Marlborough, Gisborne and Taranaki will welcome reconfirmation of over $100 million of road improvements.
Bigger challenges in our large cities, many of which have Roads of National Significance projects under construction, have not been tackled in this years Budget.
Massive investment in Aucklands transport networks is desperately needed to cope with growth. But with the Auckland Transport Alignment Project yet to determine the agreed investment programme, it comes as no surprise that there was no money for transport in Auckland in this years budget.
With long awaited Government commitments to the Central Rail Link and East West Connections investments, our expectation is that 2017 will be a big year for transport in our largest city.
In the meantime, this budget will do a lot to addressing existing demand and future growth needs for social infrastructure investment across the country, Selwood says.
For further comment:
021 791 209