NZ election: Labour's $5b list of lower North Island infrastructure projects

Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

Labour is reminding voters of the infrastructure projects it already has in the pipeline for the lower North Island.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson confirmed $5 billion would be allocated to lower North Island infrastructure projects if Labour is re-elected, including projects worth over $1.2 billion within 18 months.

The list of projects released at midday on Thursday included projects in Wellington, Manawatū, Horowhenua, Whanganui and Palmerston North.

"With historically low interest rates, we are able to outline this much-needed investment in infrastructure," the party said in a statement.

It said similar investments would also be carried out across the rest of the country.

The Government finalised its 10-year plan for transport infrastructure on Wednesday, including increasing state highway maintenance funding to $510 million, putting $500 million into rail and spending $10 billion on the Road to Zero safety strategy.

The $5 billion regional funding confirmed on Thursday would include:

  • Investment via the New Zealand Upgrade programme, of $62.6 million for schools, $86.4 million for health and $1.35 billion for transport.
  • $3.2bn from the National Land Transport Programme (forecast 2018-2021)
  • $165m from the Provincial Growth Fund
  • $189.5m for classroom upgrades
  • $55.8m in additional health capital spending
  • $100 million to maintain and upgrade water services and infrastructure
  • $6.5 million for road and rail worker redeployment
  • $268 million from the IRG projects
  • $9.4 million from the Strategic Asset Tourism Protection Programme.

Specific projects within the next year and a half (18 months)


  • Sarjeant Gallery ($11.6m)
  • New Whanganui Police Hub ($25m)
  • Marton Rail Hub ($9.1m)
  • Enabling Infrastructure in Tairaka ($25m)
  • Social and affordable (key worker) housing for Ruapehu District ($7.8m)
  • Horowhenua Business Park Infrastructure ($2.9m)
  • Route 52 Improvements ($14.6m)
  • Climate Resilience Package with the Manawatū-Whanganui Region Councils ($26.9m).

Longer-term projects

Capital health investments


  • New acute mental health facility Hutt Valley DHB ($30m)
  • Acute mental health facility Palmerston North Hospital ($30m)
  • Surgical services expansion MidCentral DHB ($27.5m for two additional theatres, two new procedure rooms, and more)
  • Linear accelerators MidCentral, Capital & Coast ($13m)
  • Waimarino health centre extension Whanganui ($5m).

Education investments


  • Approved SIPs at 205 schools in Hutt South, Mana, Ohariu, Otaki, Palmerston North, Rangitikei, Rimutaka, Rongotai, Wairarapa, Wellington Central electorates, (totalling $35.29m)
  • Re-opening of Taratahi ($1.2m)
  • Wainuiomata High School redevelopment ($24m)
  • Wellington Girls' College redevelopment ($25m)
  • Wairarapa College redevelopment ($9m)
  • Onslow College redevelopment ($25m)
  • Taita College redevelopment ($32m).

Key Provincial Growth Fund projects


  • Ruapehu Alpine Lifts ($10m)
  • Foxton regeneration ($3.86m)
  • Whanganui Rail Upgrade ($3m)
  • Horizons Regional Afforestation Initiative Stage 1 ($970,000)
  • Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub ($1m)
  • Ruapehu Economic Support Package ($1.3)
  • Horowhenua Economic Support Package ($1.6m)

Key transport investments


  • New Melling interchange ($258m)
  • Four laning SH1 from Ōtaki to North of Levin to support growth in Levin and provide a safer and more resilient route ($817m)
  • Capital Connection upgrades - increasing the frequency and capacity of Metlink and Capital Connection services to Palmerston North and on the Wairarapa line including a second platform at Featherston ($211m)
  • Te Ara Tupua - shared pathway linking Wellington with Hutt Valley (Petone to Melling section ($28.5m)
  • Green light for Manawatū Gorge replacement highway ($620m) - the initial funding of up to $100 million has been made available from a reallocation of funding by the NZ Transport Agency. The funding will enable construction to start quickly once the consent process is complete with early works expected to start November, depending on consents.
  • Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway ($330m)
  • New KiwiRail regional freight hub near Palmerston North ($40m)
  • Whanganui Port Revitalisation ($26.75m).

Three waters investment


  • Wellington region three waters services and infrastructure maintenance and upgrades ($59.80m)
  • Manawatū-Whanganui three waters services and infrastructure maintenance and upgrades ($40.54m).