Wellington Scoop

“We’re the infrastructure government;” Steven Joyce promises to spend $11b more

Finance Minister Steven Joyce spoke today about the government’s commitment to infrastructure spending, including the expressways being built north of Wellington. He said the government is planning a big increase in this spending.

In a pre-budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, he said:

“Yesterday I had my first drive along the 22km Kapiti Expressway. That is an impressive piece of infrastructure which is reducing journey times and connecting communities on the coast and across the lower North Island. It’s the first stage of a multi-billion dollar development which includes Transmission Gully and the Otaki expressway. And nine years ago it wasn’t even on the drawing boards.

“Earlier in the day I travelled down the newly widened North-Western motorway in Auckland, and through the widening of SH20 in Mt Roskill, and through the new Kirkbride Road link to Auckland airport. I’ve also recently visited and travelled over the new motorways and expressways in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“This Government is New Zealand’s infrastructure government. Our investment in roads, rail, broadband, schools, electricity transmission and hospitals has been unprecedented. And we are increasing it further.

“At the half-year update the Government decided to increase the new capital spend for Budget 2017 from $900 million to $3 billion. We have reviewed that figure again as we prepare for Budget 2017 and our total new capital spend for each year over the forecast period.

“Today I can announce that the Government has decided to invest $11 billion in new capital infrastructure over the next four years including $4 billion in this year’s budget alone.

“To put that into context, the net new capital allocated in the last four Budgets was $4.8 billion, of which $4.1 billion was funded through the proceeds of the mixed ownership model programme.

“In Budget 2016 we were forecasting just $3.6 billion in new capital spend between Budget 17 and Budget 20 compared to $11 billion now. The $11 billion is additional spend on top of investments already planned by the Government.

“If you add the Government’s budgeted new capital investment together with the investment made through baselines and through the National Land Transport Fund – the total is around $23 billion over the next four years, or an average nearly $6 billion per year.

“Details of how the first tranche of that money will be invested will be laid out in the Budget on May 25th. But in anyone’s language, this is a very big capital spend over the next four years.

“And we want to extend that further, with greater use of public-private partnerships, and joint ventures between central and local government, and private investors.

“This is the level of investment we need to make in a country that is growing strongly and one that we want to have grow further, and with it grow more and higher paying jobs, in the years ahead.”

The speech in full

CofC welcomes extra spend on infrastructure


  1. James Shaw, 27. April 2017, 14:14

    What portion of the new ‘infrastructure’ spend will be on motorways – and what portion on rail, cycleways, water, utilities, waste…? [via twitter]

  2. Phil, 27. April 2017, 14:53

    National will go down as the government that neglected to invest in infrastructure whilst bringing in as many immigrants as possible to lower wages and artificially inflate house prices and GDP

  3. Reed Fleming, 27. April 2017, 16:15

    Current projections for Budget 2025 show we will have little roads built on top of big roads, crossing mini roads, but zero houses. [via twitter]

  4. Mark m, 28. April 2017, 7:27

    When a society wants to look good, first they ignore the fact their participation in conflict means they are actively making refugees, then they bring more refugees. But while they are patting themselves on the back for being so “humanitarian” they ignore exploited workers, conditions for prisoners in privatized jails, they ignore the homeless and the poor who may lose their “social” homes.
    And you hit that one on the head Phil as that is exactly what the govt are doing. And lest we forget: at least half the (meaningless) GDP is owned by foreign investors.

  5. Richard Hills, 28. April 2017, 9:43

    Got excited about reports of an $11 Billion announcement, then read $9B has been previously announced and $1B is fixing Kaikoura highway. [via twitter]