TOP proposes Upper North Island Development Alliance, post flooding

This month’s flooding across Auckland and the Upper North Island has shown just how devastating the effects of climate change are to New Zealanders. Not only in people’s homes and livelihoods but also on the country’s critical water and transport infrastructure.

Raf Manji, Leader of The Opportunities Party says that we need to ensure our water and transport infrastructure is repaired quickly and efficiently, ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of residents, especially with a view to future extreme weather events. “It looks like another Alliance set-up is required for all the post-flooding repair work across the Upper North Island, similar to the formal repair alliances set up in response to the significant earthquake damage caused in Christchurch and Kaikōura.”

The Alliance framework would model the post-earthquake work of the ‘Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild TEAM’ (SCIRT) and the ‘North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery’ (NCTIR).

Infometrics’ principal economist Brad Olsen has already put out an early ‘best estimate’ of the recovery cost of $466 million. This number is likely to rise.

Manji says, “There is going to be a big repair job, especially in Auckland, and that’s why I am suggesting the establishment of the ‘Upper North Island Development Alliance’ (UNIDA).”

“Many New Zealanders are currently faced with uncertainty post-flooding. The experience of the Christchurch City Council after the Canterbury earthquakes shows the importance of giving certainty to a repair program and providing a structure that the Central Government can fund directly.”

“The Opportunities Party believes that the Government should set the road map to recovery urgently and apply the learnings from the South Island from the last decade.”