March 31, 2020
Infrastructure projects to counter pandemic hangover
The Government is looking for infrastructure projects that can reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has asked a group of industry leaders to seek out shovel-ready projects that can start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal.
Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say the projects, either in the private or public sector, will be on top of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and existing Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure investments.
The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group will be headed by Crown Infrastructure Partners chair Mark Binns and includes NZTA chair Sir Brian Roche, KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller and Infrastructure Commission chair Alan Bollard as initial members.
It will work alongside the Provincial Development Unit which has spent the past two-and-a-half years working with regions.
Mr Twyford says projects could include water, transport, clean energy and buildings that have a public or regional benefit, create jobs and can get underway in short order.
Mr Jones says while the economic effect of COVID-19 is yet to be fully understood, the Government has an opportunity to move the country into action mode and it does not wish to see red tape stymie the eventual recovery.
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