NZ wants ‘innovative’ infra solutions

New Zealand’s new finance minister has indicated that the government wants to involve new ways of financing infrastructure projects, which may include private cash.

In his first speech setting out the new coalition government’s economic strategy, finance minister Grant Robertson said the administration would “make the necessary investments in our health and education assets”.

While he added that the new government’s Budget “has room for significantly more capital investment than the previous government”, he did not rule out using forms of PPPs, saying that innovation is needed if the country is to build the “21st century infrastructure” that it needs.

“We need to unlock capital and capture the value of investments through the work of urban development agencies and innovative instruments such as infrastructure bonds,” Robertson said.

“We want to work with those who can be partners in taking forward developments that build and modernise our infrastructure. Ministers have come together to identify and co-ordinate this work.”

New Zealand chief executive Stephen Selwood recently told Partnerships Bulletin that opportunities for private investment in infrastructure remain under the new government, but are now focused on different approaches.