Infrastructure Policy

If party leaders say ‘infrastructure’ what do you think of first? Roads? Rail? 5G?

Wrong! When our current politicians say the word ‘infrastructure’ they are thinking “VOTES”.

Our tax-payer funded infrastructure spending appears entirely built around securing party votes for future elections. A Northland port, a cycleway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and more ‘lanes to the planes’ are great vote grabbers - but is that what everyone in NZ wants to pay for right now?

At TOP we believe politicians have no right making decisions about infrastructure spending, and that decisions about what projects to fund should be made by a range of sectors. These sectors will evaluate a project's impact on our economic productivity, social impacts, culture and environmental impacts, our carbon emissions, and the impacts on our natural capital.

Because politicians have been the ones at the helm, our debate on infrastructure spending has been limited to ‘roads and rail’ at the cost of investment in electricity, wastewater and green energy.

We believe with an overhaul of the framework for prioritising your tax dollars towards infrastructure, that the following would occur:

  • Small communities in remote areas of NZ would be supported to exist off-grid using technologies such as solar, wind, mini hydrogen generators and/or smart grids.
  • Large coal powered boilers (e.g. milk driers) would be switched to electricity.
  • Further roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and 5G, particularly in rural areas, would be coordinated and prioritised at pace.
  • Our rail network would be entirely run on electricity.
  • Our carbon emissions would reduce.
  • Our local governments would be adequately funded to replace aging sewerage, water and rainwater systems with pipes big enough to match our population growth and higher density living.
  • Industry areas that are showing real strength and future promise on the world stage will be acknowledged with increased infrastructure spending, e.g. niche manufacturing, biodiversity, digital innovation and high-value food, fibre or wood products.

Infrastructure covers so much more than just ‘road & rail’ projects, and TOP believes the way that spending is allocated should be made with a greater emphasis for what is good for all New Zealanders, rather than vote-grabbing from the few.

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Page last updated on 16-Sep 2020