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New Zealand's infrastructure planning 'dismal', says Minister

New Zealand's infrastructure planning is "dismal" and the Government needs to get on with building "rather than writing more reports", says Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones. 

Mr Jones' comments on TVNZ1's Q+A come after the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council warned New Zealand's infrastructure was at 'crisis point'.

"We didn't suddenly arrive at this rather dismal point in the last 18 months," Mr Jones said. "For a long time we have talked ourselves and processed ourselves into paralysis and we've got to get on with building our infrastructure rather than writing more reports about it.”

Mr Jones ruled out using private capital to fund schools, prisons and the public health system after admitting the Government needs to spend more on infrastructure.

When asked by host Jack Tame if he accepted there was a deficit in infrastructure, Mr Jones said there was "$130 billion, according to Treasury, we’re going to have to chew through over the next 10 years."

"Not all of that can be funded from the public purse within our current debt constraints."

"We most certainly need a long-term national plan, and an upgraded plan in terms of what the Treasury have already published in 2015."

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Shane Jones discusses the “dismal” state of New Zealand’s infrastructure planning, on July 15. Source: Q+A