Once again, Wellington misses out
Today’s infrastructure investment announcement from the Government will see Wellington receive just $185 million, missing out yet again on desperately needed funds to fix the region’s infrastructure deficits.
While the broader investment package includes about $210 million for climate resilience and flood protection projects, $155 million for transformative energy projects, about $180 million for large-scale construction projects and $50 million for enhanced regional digital connectivity, these are not proportionately allocated for the much-overlooked Capital City and wider region, says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"Auckland’s been allocated $500m and Canterbury $300m yet, once again Wellington misses out, receiving less than Otago, and only just a tad more than the Bay of Plenty and Waikato," says John Milford, Chief Executive of Business Central and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"The Wellington region is home to over 58,000 businesses, is New Zealand’s second largest economy, has a population of over half a million, hundreds of thousand workers, a tourism and hospitality sector reliant on over 2.4 million guests nights a year, with seriously significant region-wide infrastructure deficits.
"We don’t accept the Minister of Finance’s assurances that the regions ‘hardest hit’ with larger populations have been prioritised as that certainly hasn’t happened here.
"Wellington’s District Court will have a $14 million refurbishment, and that’s great, but what problem does the government think it’s fixing if that’s the solution?
"While the rest of the country has benefited from the Provincial Growth Fund, the Wellington region has been excluded. And while Auckland and Canterbury have both had significant investment, Wellington’s gone without. And when it comes to the ‘Let’s Get Wellington Moving’ deal, Wellington got the raw end of it - the funding split between Central and Local Government actually shifts more costs unfairly onto Wellington, and onto ratepayers who right now can’t afford any rates increases.
"We await the details of the project announcements over the coming days, what they may mean for the local business communities, and are hopeful that further funding that will prioritise what Wellington needs."