Monday, 31st July, 2017

The new Crown Infrastructure Partners company set up by Government this week with the job of attracting private investment in roading and water infrastructure is the first firm indication of a tool that could facilitate ‘ready to go’ Penlink’s immediate construction.

Crown Infrastructure Partners will set up special purpose companies to build and own new trunk infrastructure in return for dedicated long-term revenue streams from councils.

On current numbers, the cost to build the 4-lane 7km Penlink route to bypass Silverdale, including a bridge over the Weiti River, is around $390 million, with a toll as a long-term revenue source.

If we could find a private investor or group of investors prepared to take on the early uptake risk, then the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport would have little option but to get on and build it.

The idea behind the innovative new funding method is to enable cash-strapped councils to fund critically needed long-term infrastructure projects. Penlink is one of those.

The Government goal also confirmed this week of accelerating the Wainui housing development in Silverdale critically depends on getting Penlink underway.

Setting up a special-purpose company linking central and local government and the private sector to accelerate delivery of key infrastructure is exactly the kind of solution-based thinking the Chamber’s Penlink campaign supports.

Forming a group of private sector funders to undertake Penlink for a ‘reasonable’ return seems a logical next step – let me know your interest. Call me on 0275 631 150 or email mbarnett@chamber.co.nz.

 

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.