NZ investment opportunities ‘have shifted’

The opportunities for private sector investment in New Zealand remain, but are now focused on different approaches, according to Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive Stephen Selwood.

Selwood told Partnerships Bulletin that the newly elected coalition of Labour, Greens and New Zealand First has signalled a clear change of direction in its approach to infrastructure investment compared to its predecessor, already ruling out a PPP for the Dunedin Hospital.

“It is not clear that PPPs will be considered for any social infrastructure,” Selwood said. “Uncertainty now surrounds the viability of this PPP market given the country’s small size and limited pipeline.”

However, he added that the new government’s prioritisation of new housing – with all the associated infrastructure that this will need – means that private capital will still be required “to unlock land and infrastructure for housing and to build new homes”.

Therefore, Selwood concluded that in the long term, there will continue to be strong opportunities for investors in New Zealand infrastructure, even if the short-term is affected by discussions over the allocation of development risk, financing responsibilities and the potential for new funding tools.

To read more of Stephen Selwood’s thoughts on the New Zealand infrastructure market, see the December issue of Partnerships Bulletin, out now, or click here.