Government announces 'significant boost' in infrastructure spending

The Government will bring forward major investments in New Zealand's infrastructure after Cabinet agreed to a "significant boost".

Pointing to the Government's low debt and record-low interest rates, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said now was the time to make investments.

"We have this once-in-a-generation opportunity because of the Government's good management of the books and resulting low debt," he said in a statement on Saturday.

"I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government's short and medium-term plan of investments."

The full list of projects is still being finalised, however Robertson says these will be spread across the country and will support a number of different sectors.

"The package will provide certainty to the construction industry about upcoming infrastructure projects," Robertson says.

"The investment will have a significant economic impact and create more job opportunities for Kiwis - especially our young people.

The size of the package and the areas to be invested in will be announced in the Budget policy statement on December 11.

Government under pressure to upgrade roads, infrastructure

The Government has been coming under increasing pressure to borrow more money to upgrade New Zealand's roading and infrastructure.

In July, the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council called on the Government to resume work on 12 major roading projects that have been put on hold, saying the country had an "infrastructure deficit".

There is "no overarching vision or leadership in New Zealand for infrastructure development" or "nation-building narrative upon which to build a strategic direction", the council reportedly said in a letter.

And high-profile economist Shamubeel Eaqub has been calling for the Government to take advantage of the historic-low interest rates.

"They're giving money away. Why shouldn't we be borrowing money?" he told The AM Show in July.

"I think we need to be far more aggressive. The infrastructure needs in New Zealand are quite intense."