A Government announcement to invest $12 billion in new infrastructure projects has the potential to fill a major gap in the transport infrastructure work pipeline and start to overcome NZ’s infrastructure deficit – now details are needed for civil contractors to get to work.
Civil Contractors New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Silcock said Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s announcement of additional infrastructure spending with the emphasis on “shovel-ready” projects was welcome, but details on which projects were funded and when they would come to market were needed as soon as possible.
“This is great news, and shows the Government is listening. But if these projects are truly shovel-ready, contractors need details sooner rather than later. Ideally we want to transition the people and resources we already have into new transport projects.”
The longer it took for project details to be announced, the more likely there were to be capacity constraints as a range of major projects such as Transmission Gully, Canterbury motorway projects and the Waikato Expressway finished up over the next 18 months and businesses looked to provide continuity of work for their skilled employees, he said.
“A year may seem like a long time, but in terms of making major infrastructure projects happen it is not long at all. The time for stalling is over and our members need to know which projects will be given the nod so they can start planning how they will put them into action.”
Mr Silcock said contractors were eager to get to work, and keenly anticipating which initiatives were identified to be brought to market so they could make promises of infrastructure investment into new roads, bridges and railway lines to connect communities and support economic growth.
The Government’s announcement indicated the details of which projects were funded would be announced “in early 2020”.