Budget highlights for Auckland
$100m for America's Cup
3500 state houses over four years
Business support for $28 billion transport package
A $28 billion transport package for Auckland has got the big tick from BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope.
The 10-year transport package will improve infrastructure in the country's largest city, help businesses to grow and employ more people, said Hope.
The $28b joint Government and Auckland Council transport package was unveiled three weeks ago by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
It includes funding for some of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country's history, including the $3.4b City Rail Link and two modern tram lines from the CBD to the airport and the CBD to West Auckland costing $6b.
The package includes $1.8b for modern trams, also known as light rail, and the Government has begun a procurement process for the remaining $4.2b. Last week, the NZ Super Fund said it "wished to explore" funding and delivering light rail in Auckland on a fully commercial basis with an international partner.
The Budget confirmed funding for the America's Cup with $100 million set aside in the budget.
When a final agreement for the location of the America's Cup costing $212m was confirmed in late March, the Government announced it would chip in $114m, including a $40m "host contribution fee". The council agreed to pay $98.5m.
The plan puts Emirates Team New Zealand's base in the Viaducts Event Centre and casts aside an alternative in which the team would have been based on an extended Halsey Wharf.
Goff said "confirmation of the Government's $100 million towards the America's Cup 2021 will help ensure we create a vibrant event and lasting legacy for the city".
Goff also welcomed news in the Budget that Auckland will get 3500 of 6400 new state houses across the country by 2022.
"We look forward to working with the Government to get more Aucklanders into warm, safe, dry homes," he said.
Goff said high population growth has put Auckland, in particular, under real pressure, with congestion, housing shortages and high living costs impacting on low-income households.
"We look forward to a fair share of the boost to education and health funding in this year's Budget going towards Auckland's schools and hospitals, both of which are under pressure from population growth," he said.