Ending the Infrastructure Deficit

Governments of all stripes have, for years, chosen where to build roads, bridges, and railway lines, based not on the economic need for them, but on the political advantage to be gained. Taxpayers deserve better. ACT would replace this political discretion with economic discipline and get more congestion reduction and road safety for every taxpayer dollar spent.

In 1989, New Zealand adopted a world-leading model of independent central banking, based on the sensible intuition that politicians cannot be trusted with interest rates. Based on their abject failure to deliver a workable system, politicians evidently cannot be trusted with infrastructure either.

Governments of all stripes have, for years, chosen where to build roads, bridges, and railway lines, based not on the economic need for them, but on the political advantage to be gained. Taxpayers deserve better.

ACT would replace this political discretion with economic discipline. If roads are built where they are needed, rather than where they will generate the most votes for the governing party, we can produce much greater reductions in congestion for every dollar of government spending.

By abolishing the ineffective and unfair fuel excise and introducing transparent road pricing, like that used in Singapore, we could manage demand on the roading network, down to the minute. Authorities could also see where new roads would be most valuable and cost-effective.

We would then remove infrastructure decision-making powers from ministers and vest them in an independent New Zealand Infrastructure Corporation. This Corporation would cooperate with private infrastructure funders to significantly increase the capacity of New Zealand's road and rail networks. They would decide where to build new road and rail lines not based on votes at stake, but on congestion levels and safety considerations. They would be judged based on transparent performance indicators, like the average speed reached on major arterial routes.