The new government has announced further plans aimed at kick-starting New Zealand's economy out of recession. Prime Minister John Key's 'Jobs and Growth Plan
' includes planned spending of NZ$216.7 million on education and school related projects, NZ$142.5 million on transport infrastructure projects and NZ$124.5 million on projects based around the renovation and building of state houses.
"These projects will get underway quickly "“ in many cases in the next few months "“ and they will keep more New Zealanders working as the global economic crisis is felt here," Key said. "They were chosen because they are quality projects, they will make lasting contributions to our economy and they are ready to go."
"They will employ New Zealanders and create work for businesses in regions, whether they are builders, plumbers or electricians. And their benefits will flow through communities by helping keep suppliers and sub-contractors, shopkeepers and sales staff in business," he said.
The education plan will allocate the following:
- NZ$68.7 million towards building five new schools in Mt Wellington (primary), Papamoa (primary), Kerikeri (primary), Hingaia (primary) and Papamoa (secondary).
- NZ$30 million to allow 64 schools to have better administration buildings, halls and libraries.
- NZ$9 million to expand facilities at special schools and satellite units.
- NZ$34 million to upgrade ICT infrastructure in schools so that more of them are broadband ready.
- NZ$30 million to improve four Upper Hutt schools: Upper Hutt College, Heretaunga College, Fergusson Intermediate and Maidstone Intermediate.
- NZ$11 million to replace outdated and rundown buildings in seven schools: Pt Chevalier School, Manurewa East School, Cambridge High School, Karanui School, Somerfield School, Christchurch South School, and Lyttelton Main School.
- NZ$6 million to establish a trades academy on Southern Cross Campus in Mangere.
- NZ$28 million to help schools accelerate existing building projects that have stalled.
The new transport infrastructure plan will bring forward five state highway projects at a cost of NZ$42.5 million, transport minister Stephen Joyce said. It will also involve NZ$100 million worth of "road maintenance and renewal work around the country, with NZ$34 million to be spent on projects commencing before June 30, and a further NZ$66 million in the following two years," Joyce said.
The five highway projects being brought forward are:
- The Kopu Bridge replacement in Waikato (brought forward 12 months)
- The Matahorua Gorge Realignment in the Hawkes Bay (9 months)
- The Hawkes Bay Expressway southern extension (3 months)
- Muldoon's Rimitaka corner easing in Wellington (28 months)
- The Christchurch Southern Motorway (4 months)
However, the figure of NZ$42.5 million only relates to the cost of bringing the projects forward. The new plan has brought forward the completion dates of the projects, so would seemingly have also brought forward the payment dates. The estimated cost of the five put together is NZ$302 million.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley said that NZ$104.5 million would be allocated to renovating 10,000 state houses. There will also be another 69 state homes built within the next six months, he said, at the cost of NZ$20 million. This will amount to NZ$289,000 spent on building each new home.
"This work will be spread across the country and will deliver economic stimulus in almost every region," Heatley said.