The Northern Infrastructure Forum (NIF) is calling for swift progress on infrastructure delivery from the next government, following the release of a report showing game-changing economic benefits as a result of the proposed Warkworth to Wellsford (W2W) and Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) highways.
The report was commissioned by NIF and carried out by NZIER, and focuses on the benefits the two projects will generate through improved supply chain efficiency, resilience, and productivity of businesses along the highway corridor.
This contrasts with the traditional approach to assessing transport projects, which is based mainly on travel time savings and road safety benefits.
NIF Chair Simon Bridges says the report’s findings are compelling.
“The findings show that, once operational, each of these projects will add up to $500 million a year to New Zealand’s GDP. Over a 20-year period, each project would pump over $6 billion into the economy (in net present value terms), compared to a situation where the investment had never taken place.
“This fully vindicates the commitment that both the Government and the Opposition have made to W2W and C2P in recent weeks, and sends a powerful message about the role of world-class infrastructure as an enabler of growth.
“As New Zealand looks to recover from the post-Covid economic slump and lay the foundations for a more productive, prosperous economy and society, infrastructure is key.”
Mr Bridges says the findings should spur decision-makers to invest in the large-scale, inter-generational infrastructure New Zealand needs and, critically, to accelerate infrastructure delivery as much as possible.
“We need to develop a prioritised list of infrastructure projects, and then we need to get on with it. Every year we delay projects like these, we’re leaving up to $500 million on the table,” he says.
Mr Bridges stresses that the assessment model used in the report should not just be applied to highways.
“The right rail freight links, rapid transit connections, and urban road improvements will also generate compelling economic benefits. Looking ahead, it’s really important that these are properly understood, and that they’re used to drive infrastructure decision-making.”
Key project details (based on 2020 prices)
About the NIF:
The NIF is a policy and advocacy organisation formed to help raise the standard of infrastructure planning and decision-making across the Upper North Island, and maximise the contribution that infrastructure can make to productivity and liveability. Its membership consists of:
For more information, contact:
Chair, Northern Infrastructure Forum
M. 021 322769
Coordinator, Northern Infrastructure Forum
M. 027 8399309