The Government is set to spend more than $17 billion on infrastructure in the next four years, according to its latest National Infrastructure Plan.
Social assets have been allocated $7.6 billion (that's schools, hospitals, state housing, prisons and the like) over the next four years, with $6.5 billion set aside toward roads and about $1.5 billion each earmarked for broadband and rail.
"In addition we've set aside $5.5 billion to rebuild Canterbury and state-owned enterprises are spending billions more upgrading their own assets," finance minister Bill English says.
The document sets out the Government's 20-year strategy and its priorities for the next three years.
"The plan shows New Zealand's infrastructure is generally improving, with less red tape, more major investment in the roading, rail, telecommunications and electricity networks and specific projects to support the Rugby World Cup.
"New Zealand faces some major challenges, including rebuilding Canterbury, but we remain committed to investment throughout the country and are continuing to look for new projects that lift productivity and growth."
English says government assets are forecast to grow by $34 billion to $258 billion by 2015.
The top priority is rebuilding Canterbury, according to English, followed by a "comprehensive approach to investment in Auckland that is fair to all New Zealanders".
Improving the management of state-owned social infrastructure, focusing on transport and rail, and monitoring performance across infrastructure sectors round out the top five.
The next National Infrastructure Plan will be produced in three years. The latest plan can be viewed online at www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/2011.
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