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Budget 2017 Home Page Budget Speech - Budget 2017

Infrastructure

The Government's second fiscal priority in this budget is investing in the infrastructure for a growing economy.

This Government has a strong track record as New Zealand's infrastructure government. Over the last several years we have grown infrastructure spending considerably and commenced some major transformative investments in New Zealand's public infrastructure on behalf of taxpayers.

We are completely modernising our telecommunications system with the ultrafast broadband and rural broadband programmes. We have embarked upon the most ambitious development of new motorways and expressways seen in several decades, and invested more than $4 billion in our railway system including funding new commuter rail fleets in both Auckland and Wellington. And we are in the process of building more new hospitals and schools than New Zealand has seen in generations.

However Budget 2017 takes New Zealand infrastructure investment to another level.

For the first time, the Government is allocating $4 billion in new capital funding in one budget across the Education, Health, Defence, Justice, Housing, Primary Sector and Transport portfolios.

The new investment includes a further $392 million for more new schools and classrooms around New Zealand - taking our total investment to $1.4 billion over the last four budgets.

The new money will provide for six new schools, two major school expansions, the relocation of two special education schools, 11 new special education satellite units and around 305 new classrooms nationwide.

Budget 2017 includes $150 million in additional capital for the Health Sector, $576 million for Defence Force upgrades, $763 million for new prison capacity, $63 million for Crown Irrigation to invest in new water storage and $100 million for the Crown Land Programme, which frees up more Government land for housing.

$1.8 billion of the new budget spend is in the Transport portfolio. This includes $450 million for KiwiRail for the rail network around New Zealand, $436 million for the first stage in Auckland's City Rail Link, $812 million for the reinstatement of State Highway 1 north and south of Kaikōura, and $98 million for upgrades to Wellington's metro rail network.

I am also confirming today the Government's intention to allocate a further $7 billion in new capital spend in the next three budgets, taking our total additional capital spend to $11 billion.

Through this new capital spend and existing commitments the Government and its key infrastructure agencies will invest a total of $32.5 billion over the next four years in new infrastructure.

That's a 40 per cent increase on the last four years.

The New Zealand Transport Agency alone will invest $9.17 billion in new State Highways over the four years, and will open over 540 lane kilometres of new highways.

And Housing New Zealand will invest $2.2 billion in the Auckland Housing Programme as announced by Minister Adams last week, which will contribute to the 34,000 new houses that we will build in Auckland over the next 10 years alongside the huge growth in private sector housing construction which is underway.

This is an unprecedented level of infrastructure investment for any New Zealand government, even including the period of funding the Christchurch rebuild.

We intend to extend that investment further with a greater use of partnerships between central and local government, and between government and the private sector. I will have more to say on that subject in the coming weeks.

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