Infrastructure handouts announced

$3 billion aimed at fast tracking infrastructure projects to try to boost recovery from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were announced yesterday.

Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand.

That is presumably an estimate of job numbers. There is no indication whether people with the right qualifications and skills  are available to do the jobs, or if they will need to be trained – which would take time.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund will be allocated across regions, following extensive engagement with local councils and businesses.

The investment package includes about $210 million for climate resilience and flood protection projects, $155 million for transformative energy projects, about $180 million for large-scale construction projects and $50 million for enhanced regional digital connectivity.

The COVID Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) set out in Budget 2020 earmarked $3 billion for infrastructure projects. Cabinet’s initial decisions on this allocation include:

  • Housing and urban development: $464m
  • Environmental: $460m
  • Community and social development: $670m
  • Transport (cycleways, walkways, ports and roads): $708m

The projects are in addition to the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and existing Provincial Growth Fund investments.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the pipeline of projects would create immediate economic activity in the metropolitan centres as well as the regions.

Cabinet has now made initial decisions about key sectors it would like to support and general regional distribution of funds, with more than 150 projects worth $2.6 billion being approved in principal. Officials are now undertaking final due diligence to ensure projects are viable and offer the benefits stated by applicants.

That doesn’t sound like ‘immediate economic activity’.

About $400 million has been set aside as a contingency as the Government takes a responsible approach to managing spending on behalf of taxpayers. Funds not required in the contingency will be put towards further infrastructure projects, providing an incentive for local councils to deliver the approved projects on time and on budget, as this would unlock a further potential $400 million of investment.

Large infrastructure projects have a habit of running over budget, especially when the investigations and planning of them is rushed.

Rushing projects also raises the risks of them being ill-conceived and chosen so the Government is seen to be doling something.

And there are suggestions the announcements that the announcements are more timed for the election than practical progression of the projects. This announcement included government self promotion:

“This is about creating jobs as we recover and rebuild from the recession caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because we went hard and early with our health response, we’ve been able to open up the economy quicker than other countries and get a head start on our recovery,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“This package will provide Kiwis with confidence that the Government is backing them in this challenging economic environment by creating new jobs and opportunities in communities around the country.”

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the pipeline of projects would create immediate economic activity in the metropolitan centres as well as the regions.

“Both are critical to our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” Shane Jones said.

“Not only has this massive undertaking provided us with the largest stocktake of infrastructure projects we’ve ever had but it’s enabled us to partner with central and local government, the private sector and community groups to deliver projects for all Kiwis.

“The specific projects we’re announcing today are examples of the sort of projects we’re supporting – from nationwide investments in flood protection and better digital connectivity to civic facilities that we know form the bedrock of our communities.

“I am extremely proud of the depth and breadth of this unprecedented piece of work,” Shane Jones said.

Jones may also be hoping this unprecedented piece of work will help his electorate election chances, and Robertson may be hoping it helps Labour’s chances of being re-elected (but he may not be hoping for NZ First to interfere with them governing again next term).

It will be well after the election before the worth of the projects being pushed have been money well spent, or squandered.

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33 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  2nd July 2020

    According to Mike Hoskings this morning not a single “ shovel ready “ project will even commence this year.
    Yet another, all hui and no doey .
    Typical Socialists with no sense of how to accomplish and plan projects but great on willful propaganda to obtain votes from the gullible.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  2nd July 2020

      Tell us how Nationals Special Housing Areas ( SHA) fast tracking worked…Thats right consents were approved by Councils ( to everyones suprise) and then nothing as the land owners had more valuable land which is all they wanted.
      Then there was the Novapay debacle…the taxpayers ended up buying the external contractor.
      Then there was the home meth contamination scandal..
      Then there was the Pike River lack of oversight of mining …and no checks that construction consents for the drifts were complied with before coal face mining began.
      Then there was the Christchurch earthquakes rebuild scandals…no oversight so that the taxpayer paid twice or more often to fix houses properly
      There was the South Canterbury Finance payout of $1.3 bill for a guarantee that had Bill Englishs signature being renewed annually ( but no oversight), plus the $100 mill for bond holders who didnt have a guarantee but were ‘in the way’ so had to paid off.
      There was the $30 mill payout to Bluff Smelter to keep them sweet, the $30 mill for Media Works …to keep them sweet, supposed to pay it back but went into administration.
      What about the $930 mill paid to Chorus for shares/financial instruments so that Spark/Telecom could ditch the lines side of the business

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  2nd July 2020

        Duker, I notice that you have not responded to the negative regarding the COL propaganda machine.
        Only an early morning rant .
        Sad !

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  2nd July 2020

          What points that Duker raised can you dispute=NONE.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  2nd July 2020

            Mikey explains…the country understands.

            Reply
            • If you mean Mike Hosking by the inane ‘Mikey’, you can’t be serious. His flipflops are a laughingstock, like his clothes.

              No intelligent person relies on him to explain things, I hope.

    • Blazer

       /  2nd July 2020

      ‘according to Mike Hoskings’…..do BEHAVE …John!

      Reply
    • John, the PM et al are failing to mention that it’s all taxpayers’ money, mostly, I imagine, borrowed on our behalf and giving us an eyewateringly large debt. It’s playing shove ha’penny. They are robbing our moneyboxes and giving us the money as a present.

      Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  3rd July 2020

      John J Harrison – “According to Mike Hosking” … You are hilarious!

      1) “Shovel-Ready” is a nefarious, euphemistic piece of Newspeak to rival “Provincial” except without the EVIL, RACIST, COLONIAL implications of our very worst years of “Kawanatanga” 1841-1877.

      “Got yous to say it all the time though, didn’t I?” SNEERS Shane Jones.

      It means “Bucket-Ready” – Capital Equipment or Machinery-Ready – and the machines are owned, organized and operated by National Local Bodies-&-LGNZ ‘Private’ Contractor Cartels – all to a man Bluer-than-Blue, Bluellow or Bluack.

      Driver-Operators and other ‘Wetware’ are entirely ancillary in the digging of unnecessary ponds for Shane and the other Pond Scum.

      2) One must always measure ‘Pork Barrels’ by the National ‘Great Blue’ Standard Pork-Barrel Project, which is undoubtedly ‘Four Lanes – no sticks’ Auckland-to-Whangarei – originally not even including a spur to NorthPort.

      [Deleted]

      3) They don’t make “Gullible” like National *Broad-Church* Farm-and-Fortocracy folk. Its understandable but incredibly sad too. You see, inside the Fort, Stockade and Re-Doubt, you can’t elect NOT to reload Dad’s Musket when the Natives are marauding around outside trying to protect what remains of their Lands.

      You conform or, Dad tells you … “You die”. The Saturday Matinees say, “They’ll scalp you” … turn you into a Baldhead!!!

      Dad doesn’t know he could go out and talk to ‘THEM’ … Because Dad’s a “militarized civilian” and Dad believes, somewhere in HIS highly conditioned ‘para-mind’, that Natives are “primitive”, heathen, untrustworthy and, even with muskets pointed at them, more violent than HE is because HE is innately Superior to the Native.

      Dad, in other words, is a complete FU*KWITT … but he’s the only Dad you’ve got.

      You reload Dad’s Musket … and hope to have one of your own one day … to defend your Farm and protect your isolated little Family with.

      Ψ PartisaNZ Ψ

      Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  2nd July 2020

    Isn’t the taxpayer buying Winston’s donors an indoor horse racing track in Cambridge. Surely this is ready to go.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  2nd July 2020

      All weather means outdoors, its like all weather sports fields with sand drainage.
      Its for the racing industry, which is spread around country but wants meetings not being cancelled. Horse breeding/training/racing is a fair sized activity.
      I know of a large Auckland race track that will become surplus to requirements under Wisstons plan that could be worth $150 mill

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  2nd July 2020

        Arty is confused with this indoor track promised by previous government in Whanganui
        It called vote buying when any other party except National does it
        “But a $6m commitment made from the previous government is yet to be nailed down.”
        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/378752/plans-to-cover-whanganui-velodrome-up-in-the-air

        Reply
        • Art Croft

           /  2nd July 2020

          Sorry. i thought Winston was going to do the semi-decent thing and just get the taxpayer to shell out for a small indoor track which shetland ponies could run around. My bad, Winston’s worst.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  2nd July 2020

            It’s also called corruption by all and sundry when National do it- which they never do.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  2nd July 2020

              [Deleted – inappropriate]

              These ponds Shane Jones is digging for $70 million around Northland, who the frick do you think are organizing it all?

              Bluer than Blue Local Body politicians and Blue ex-politicians, that’s who.

              Far North Holdings Ltd, of whom FNDC is their “governance arm”, and Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust signed an MOU recently cementing an extra $39 million to make the Pond Scum Fund up to $70 million, and start digging a pond near Ngawha where Bluey’s are raking it in already with Power Stations and Industrial Parks … and Hot Springs all spruced up for the massive influx of Chinese tourists … WHOOPS!!!

              Recently appointed Chairman, ex-National Cabinet Minister Murray McCully signed for the Trust … and probably signed the same MOU on behalf of FNHL too … because he’s a Director of Far North Holdings Ltd too!

              Some poor dude had to submit an OIA Request to try and find out why?

              [Deleted – inappropriate]

              And who the frick do you think are gonna benefit most of the three ‘categories’ of water user – High-Value Horticulture (Avos & Kiwi aka Roundup & Hi-Cane) – who originally commissioned the $18 million “pre-feasability studies” – Dairy, Beef & Sheep Farmers ‘generally’ – poor and drought-stricken, corporate-welfare-seeking “cocky snowflakes” they are – “The whole world’s against us!!!” – or Municipal Water Supplies?

              In Mexico – where corruption is also rife in government – it was “high-value horticulture” that won the day, Avocados, causing armed “water wars” among “growers” and water-starved citizens … usually indigenous peoples …

              And NZFirst have ‘indicated’ they could work with [Deleted – inappropriate] after the election. Well yeah, they sure could, because they have been this whole term of government.

              Incidentally, Aotearoa NZ hasn’t been divided into ‘Provinces’ since the name was completely discredited by our first and very worst attempts at Colonial Government – New Munster, New Ulster & New Leinster.

              What the fu*k was that sh*t about!? Well, it was about excluding Maori from voting entirely during the critical years they were dying in droves from introduced diseases and the worst effects of racist colonization, especially liquor and hopelessness.

              Shane Jones has done a “re-branding” on the name “Provincial” that any [Deleted – inappropriate] Ad Agency guy and gal would be proud of – and get paid extremely well for.

              “Get ‘The People’ to accept the everyday use of the very worst aspect of their shared, bicultural HIS-Tory and you’ve got Sheeple & Sleeple who will basically do ANY-THING you pay them enough to prostitute themselves to do!”

              Ψ PartisaNZ Ψ

              $70 million would pay for two 25,000 litre tanks plus a solar-powered filtration system on 14,500 properties in Northland, and of course add one tank to many more who already have one, and build small ponds on a per production unit basis rather than massive “water storage & distribution” systems with massive ponds, canals, pipelines and pumping stations.

              [Deleted – inappropriate]

      • Blazer

         /  2nd July 2020

        Avondale has been eyed by the ARC and the NZRB for decades,but the members have a backbone.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  2nd July 2020

          legislation passed last night. Its all over. They will take all the meetings off them, which were held at Ellerslie for about 6 years anyway when the AJC was broke. Without meetings they wont even be able to afford to mow the grass. They sold off land over the last 25 years around the fringes but still didnt work as they have head in clouds.
          Real estate doesnt matter for the punters watching TV or on their phone, its the horses which is NZ has plenty.
          Just like bowling clubs and golf course they arent the big drawcrads they once were

          Reply
  3. Corky

     /  2nd July 2020

    Way back in 2012, Ian Wishart wrote a good piece on our high infrastructure costs comparative to similar projects around the world. It made for grim reading. We are paying billions more then we should.

    Here’s the intro to that article.

    https://investigatemagazine.co.nz/2861/nz-paying-too-much-for-infrastructure-projects/

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  2nd July 2020

      A contributing factor is that NZ does not have the specialised engineers and project developers to call on.

      German,French,U.SJapanese and Chinese skill is required.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  2nd July 2020

      Wishart ..is he still alive ?- doesnt get the point. Chinese numbers are never transparent.
      The Waterview tunnel isnt comparing oranges with oranges, as the project changed considerably in scope over the years and the final build was 3 lanes each way ( from 2) plus rebuild of cross harbour causeway which had sunk over the 50 years since it was built, and widened and the rebuild and widening to Western Springs , which werent in the original 2 lane tunnels for a east west route only
      The Private finance projects where the government is hands off havent stayed withing budget either both Transmission Gully and the Puhoi- Warkworth one. ( however the Government bought the land over many years for both)

      Reply
      • He must have thought that he was Lord Wishart, as he signed himself ‘Wishart’. Only peers of the realm are entitled to do this, and it’s hard to believe that Ian Wishart was a peer of the realm.

        He may be still alive, but he’s long forgotten.Not even chip paper by now.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  3rd July 2020

          ‘Only peers of the realm are entitled to do this’….b/s.

          Reply
      • Corky

         /  2nd July 2020

        I think you should have read the full article (the continuation in Investiagte Magazine) to understand what was fully explained. The introduction is just that…an introduction.

        ”Wishart ..is he still alive ?- doesnt get the point. Chinese numbers are never transparent.”

        Not according to the German engineering firm hired. Quote:

        ”The industry magazine Road Traffic Technology quotes the total cost of the bridge at US$751 million (NZ$1bn), and describes how it was financed by a combination of tolls and taxpayer contributions. This figure is backed up by one of the German companies involved in the construction, which reported a “total cost” of the Sutong Bridge at US$726 million.”

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  2nd July 2020

          Ian Wishart uses his discoveries of essentially NACTionalist corporate-political corruption to accuse Labour of doing it exclusively, Right?

          He’s a big name at KiwiFrontLine too, New Zeal Land’s very own “race-fear-and-hatred” organisation with 1107 highly schemedia-connected fanatical extremist members … The place to meet other Thwarted Infant Syndrome and Unresolved Dethroning Complex ‘SIRvivors’ …

          “It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society” – Jiddu Krishnamurti.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  2nd July 2020

            In that case I seriously suggest you take 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D. This constant run of bad weather is giving many folk the blues. In your case I call it Fuhrer Syndrome. Wishart has an book on Vitamin D…top rated on Amazon.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd July 2020

              The profoundly sick speak!

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd July 2020

              To try and sell you more Drugs & Pharmaceutical Products … They’ll SAVE us!!!

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd July 2020

              I take Vitamin D … I get it through the Sun on the back of my neck when I’m working outdoors … I don’t need to go to the Farmacy in Fu*kwittington Town to BUY some!

            • Corky

               /  3rd July 2020

              If you believe you are getting adquate D3 levels from the back of your neck while working outside, you are mistaken.

              Have a good day.

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd July 2020

              How lame of you Corky … Not up for it huh?

  4. Jack

     /  3rd July 2020

    Corky and Party should both read these –
    https://www.amazon.com/author/hakaonthepew

    Reply

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