Investing in the South Island

As part of our COVID recovery plan, we’re investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects that not only create jobs across the South Island, but also help us build back better. From tackling climate change to strengthening our health system, we’re taking on the long-term challenges while keeping our economy moving.

We know that as we continue to respond to the global pandemic, there will be challenges ahead. However, thanks to our careful economic management before COVID-19, and our strong health
response since the virus arrived in New Zealand, we’ve been able to get our economy going faster than many other countries.

Now, we’re taking advantage of this headstart with our five-point plan that creates jobs, invests in our people, and keeps our economy moving. One way we’re doing this is by investing $7 billion in in frastructure projects around the South Island that will create jobs now, and strengthen our infrastructure for the future.

This includes investing in projects to help our communities respond to climate change in Otago, Southland, the West Coast and across the Top of the South. Climate change is one of the biggest  challenges facing our country, and it’s important we take action now. By investing in climate resilience projects, we’re supporting South Island communities to prepare now, while creating jobs and boosting local economies through COVID-19.

We’re also using this opportunity to strengthen our health system. The past few months have shown us just how vital a modern, well-funded health system is, but years of underinvestment by the
previous National Government has left us playing catch up. We’ve made good progress in rebuilding our health service over the past three years, but we know there’s still more to do.

As part of our investment in infrastructure, we’ve committed to upgrading mental health units in Nelson Marlborough and the West Coast, refurbishing child and maternity facilities in South Canterbury, funding a rural birthing unit in Central Otago, installing new linear accelerator machines to treat cancer in Canterbury and the Southern DHB, and more. All of these projects will make sure our health system is modern and fit-for-purpose.

To make sure the essential infrastructure that keeps our communities running is fit for the future, we’re also investing in projects like stormwater upgrades, bridge replacements, earthquake strengthening and CBD redevelopments. This includes funding Kaiapoi Stormwater and Flooding Improvements, redeveloping the Queenstown Town Centre and Invercargill inner city, replacing four bridges on the West Coast, upgrading the Homer Tunnel, restoring and strengthening the Lakes District Museum, and more. These projects will keep our South Island economies moving today, while ensuring our communities have the infrastructure they need to thrive tomorrow.

These are just some of the South Island infrastructure projects we’re investing in to create jobs and boost local economies. You can find a list of further South Island projects, including investment in the Canterbury earthquake recovery, here.

As these investments show, our plan for recovery is already underway. We’re heading in the right direction, and we can’t afford to slow down now. This election, let’s stick together and continue to roll out our plan to keep New Zealand moving.