Infometrics predicts massive $172b to be spent on infrastructure over next decade - 56 pct increase on last decade

A leading economist says the expected increase in funding for infrastructure is a "real sign of encouragement" for the country.

New analysis from Infometrics predicts a substantial increase in infrastructure investment over the next decade, with the total expenditure expected to be $172b.

Infometrics updated its Infrastructure Pipeline Profile (IPP) on Wednesday, which points to a 56 percent increase in network infrastructure spending over the next decade (2022-2031) compared to the last decade (2012-2021).

The IPP draws on a wide range of data to determine planned infrastructure spending from central government departments, city and district councils, and private sector companies.

Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen told AM on Wednesday the expected new funding is a good sign for the country.

"It certainly gives us a lot more confidence than what we've seen to be talking about in the economy, a lot at the moment. There's a lot of challenges, still a lot of doom and gloom and talk of recession," Olsen told AM Early fill-in host Nicky Styris.

"So the fact you're seeing so much investment being put forward over the next decade into New Zealand's network infrastructure is a sign of encouragement.

"It also shows that local businesses and central and local governments are getting serious with investing in the bones of the country to try to move us forward."

The analysis found almost all infrastructure types are expected to see a sizable boost in investment over the next 10 years, with a large proportion expected to go to roading (44.2 percent).

The amount of investment in water is expected to see the biggest increase over the previous decade, with just under 19 percent of total investment expected across water supply, wastewater, and stormwater.

Olsen said it's key that water infrastructure is upgraded around the country.

"It's encouraging to see with that larger number over the next decade, the share of that going to water has risen considerably, a real expectation from New Zealanders that we've got to get the absolute basics, the absolute fundamentals right," Olsen said.

"If you can't have clean drinking water making it to your home and you can't have wastewater being taken away from it, then we really are failing at the basics."

The analysis also predicted considerable growth in planned infrastructure, which will be important to unlocking new developments across the country, Infometrics said.

"Larger increases in spending on water assets, the rail network, and electricity generation underscore the changing focuses in New Zealand, as the previous underinvestment in core assets are addressed," Infometrics said in their press release outlining the predicted funding.

Watch the full interview with Brad Olsen above.