Government announces $12 billion infrastructure funding

The Government has announced details of its $12 billion package aimed at improving the country's infrastructure.

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme will see funding go to roads, rail, schools and hospitals, the Government announced on Wednesday.

It would also fund the SkyPath and SeaPath, a walking and cycling path over Auckland's Harbour Bridge.

The bulk of the money would go towards transport, with $6.8 billion being used for projects in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown.

Of that, $5.3 billion would go towards the country's roads, with $2.2 billion of that in Auckland.  A further $1.1 billion would be used to fund rail. 

Many of the projects to be funded were originally planned and announced by the previous National Government.

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said it was "the right time to do the work" of upgrading the country's infrastructure.

"The economy is in good shape," Robertson said, adding that the Government was also taking advantage of low interest rates.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said future-proofing the country's infrastructure was a main priority.

"We must look to the future as we design this critical infrastructure," Twyford said. "The projects have also been redesigned and future-proofed to include provision for public transport and walking and cycling."

As well as funding for transport infrastructure, $300 million was put into health, and $400 million to schools.

A further $10 million would be given to make public facilities climate-friendly, with $4.8 million earmarked for schools and $5.2 million for hospitals as part of a decarbonisation programme - transitioning them to clean energy. The money was the first confirmed spending of a total of $200 million aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of public facilities.

"Our Government is helping more hospitals, schools and other public organisations switch to clean, climate-friendly ways of keeping people warm and the lights on," said Climate Minister James Shaw.

This money would go towards eight schools -  Wallacetown Primary, Waverly Park Primary, Te Anau Primary, Catlins School, Opoho school, Fiordland College, James Hargest College, Ruapehu College - and two hospitals - Ashburton and Hillmorton.

Roads projects receiving funding included upgrading State Highway 1 Whangarei to Port Marsden to four lanes, building Penlink to connect Whangaparaoa with State Highway 1, upgrading Mill Road and widening SH1 from Papakura to Drury. Funding would also be given to improving public transport in Christchurch and Queenstown.

What is being funded:


  • Upgrading SH1 Whangarei to Port Marsden to four lanes
  • Constructing Penlink to open up more growth north of Auckland and connect Whangaparaoa with the northern busway
  • Upgrading Mill Road to four lanes and connecting Manukau to Drury
  • Widening SH1 from Papakura to Drury and building a cycleway alongside it
  • Building a roundabout at the intersection of SH1/SH29 to improve safety
  • Building a four-lane Tauranga Northern Link, and upgrading SH2 to Omokoroa
  • Making SH1 from Otaki to north of Levin four lanes
  • Completing the second stage of safety improvements to SH 58
  • The Melling interchange project in Lower Hutt
  • Investing in public transport in the south-west of Christchurch
  • Improving public transport into Queenstown's centre on SH6A


  • $315 million for improvements to the Wiri to Quay Park Corridor in Auckland
  • $371 million to extend electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe of Auckland metro network by 19km
  • $211 million for improvements to the Wellington, Wairarapa and Palmerston North network
  • $247 million to develop the Drury railway station, including the addition of two new stations at Drury East and Drury West.

Walking and cycling

  • Seapath - a walking and cycling path over Auckland's Harbour Bridge


  • $83 million for child and maternal health 
  • $96 million for mental health and addiction
  • $26 million for regional and rural service projects
  • $75 million for upgrading and fixing aging hospital facilities
  • $20 million for contingency health issues


  • 2000 school communities will receive up to $400,000 each for building upgrades    

Clean-powered public services

  • Up to $4.8 million will be given to eight schools to replace coal boilers used for heating
  • Up to $2.4 million to upgrade a coal boiler at Ashburton Hospital
  • Up to $2.8 million to upgrade Hillmorton Hospital's mental health unit to a higher Green Star rating.