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‘Funding and financing key to public-private infrastructure partnership’

Bringing the public and private sectors together to chart a path ahead for the investment required to bridge our growing infrastructure gap is the key concern of today’s Infrastructure Funding and Financing Conference in Wellington.

The sold-out conference, which is being hosted by Infrastructure New Zealand and Brightstar, is looking at the various funding and financing models that could be applied to New Zealand’s massive infrastructure issues.

“Public and private infrastructure partners recognise the importance and willingness to work with each other to solve New Zealand’s infrastructure investment challenge,” says Infrastructure New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett.

“It is no secret that the Government is facing serious fiscal constraints. With local government budgets also under significant pressure, alternative means of investment will be necessary to kickstart the delivery of modern infrastructure vital to New Zealand’s future.”

“New Zealand has historically taken a very conservative approach to infrastructure investment, but the reality is that partnering with the private sector can deliver significant benefits to the economy and society at a far faster rate than if we relied solely on public funding to deliver projects,” says Leggett.

“When it comes to public-private-partnerships, refinements will need to be made to the current model to avoid the problems of the past and this includes things like the risk sharing and contractual frameworks. We must also look at other alternative forms of funding, including user pays charges, earn back mechanisms and GST sharing on developments between central and local government.”

“It is pleasing that this Government sees city and regional deals as an important part of the solution. If done right, they can take funding pressure off local authorities as the partnership with central government provides new investment pathways that include greater access to private sector financing.”

The infrastructure sector looks forward to hearing from a range of New Zealand and overseas experts on how we improve this public-private collaboration, as well as more about the Government’s plans in this area during the address by Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Simon Court.

 

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