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Infrastructure announcement too long coming

“What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle.

Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted rates back.

“You certainly could not accuse this Government of being even a fast follower. Now weeks out from an election, and after nine years in office, they are desperate to look like they are doing something.

“This Government cannot be trusted on housing and urban growth.

“Auckland Council has been telling the Government for the last few years that its growth was hamstrung by lack of infrastructure, and a Council balance sheet already up against its debt limit.

“Today’s announcement is an admission the Government’s over-hyped one billion dollar fund announced a year ago was in fact just a line of credit for councils that could not afford to take on much more debt.

“It got the Government a headline but as a policy it was never going to fly.

“National has spent nine years cynically blaming Auckland Council for the city’s failure to manage its growth, but it has done very little to reform the planning system or turn on the tap for infrastructure finance.

“Labour will abolish the urban growth boundary and replace it with a smarter planning approach that allows the city to make room for growth. And we’ll roll out bond financing infrastructure with the debt serviced by targeted rates,” says Phil Twyford.