Budget confirms commitment to rebuilding Christchurch
Government spending an essential catalyst to attracting and retaining private sector investment
Overall the Government is doing a world-class job of an extremely complex and costly disaster recovery process, according to Deloitte’s Christchurch Managing Partner Brett Chambers.
“Today’s announcement of a further $2.1 billion of operating and capital spending for the Christchurch rebuild, bringing Government’s total spend to $15.2 billion, will benefit not only the people of Christchurch, but the whole of New Zealand, as the country depends on the full economic contribution from its second largest city,” says Mr Chambers.
The rebuild of Christchurch represents both an opportunity to prime the pump of private sector investment and a chance to focus the Government’s share of the rebuild cost on projects that will provide a long term economic boost. Government spending is an essential catalyst to retaining and attracting private sector investment, and once key projects in the central city get under way, private commitment will follow.
Projects like the $1 billion commitment to rebuilding schools, the $600 million rebuild of the city’s hospitals and the recently announced $100 million Lincoln Innovation Hub are all part of a process that will provide economic stimulus for the next 5 to 10 years during their construction, and for many decades to come as they deliver improvements to education, health, science and innovation.
But Mr Chambers cautions that the progress on the recently revised $40 billion spend has been mixed. Insufficient progress has been made on the resolution of insurance claims over the $100,000 EQC cap, and the building of the 12,000 to 15,000 new homes needed in the region.
“The Government needs to continue to be impatient and demand faster progress on all fronts if we are to fully realise the economic return on the Crown’s investment that Cantabrians and the rest of New Zealand have been sold,” concludes Mr Chambers.