Finance Minister Grant Robertson has set out plans to spend $42 billion in infrastructure over the next five years, including a further Budget boost for housing on top of the $2 billion set out for KiwiBuild in December.

Robertson said it was $10b more than forecast under the previous National Government.

It is a similar amount to that forecast in the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update in December, which forecast $41.7b spending in infrastructure.

Speaking to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Robertson said the full list of capital projects would not be revealed until the Budget next Thursday but it would focus on hospitals, schools, transport and housing.

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He said there would be a boost on top of the $2b for Kiwibuild announced in the
"mini-Budget" last December for housing, including the $100 million for homelessness announced last week.

He has also confirmed that funding for the $100m Green Investment Fund would be included in this year's Budget, saying Budget 2018 would make the investment needed to make a shift to a low-carbon economy. That was the main Green Party gain out of its support agreement with Labour.

Hospitals were also a focus.

"This will allow us to give a long overdue boost to health to ensure that our hospitals are fit for purpose and can cope with a growing and ageing population.

"Education will also get a significant boost to support our schools to deal with ageing buildings and every-increasing enrolments."

He said transport was also a feature - and Auckland would not get all the fruit. He said that would include Wellington which was in need of "a serious upgrade and modernisation".

"Modern public transport systems are the hallmark of all successful cities and Wellington needs that as much as anywhere."

Robertson said the money for the spending would come from a combination of paying down debt more slowly than the previous National Government had planned and through higher than expected tax revenue, which was about $900m more than expected in the latest release of the accounts.

"It is important we use this extra revenue wisely and carefully to meet previously unfunded cost pressures over the coming years but some will be available for this Budget."

It had also freed up $700m from scrapping some of National's plans and programmes which either did not meet Labour's own policies or had never been implemented.

Extra revenue would be also be secured through tax changes such as the "Amazon" tax, chasing multi-nationals which did not pay New Zealand taxes.

Robertson emphasised that despite the size of the numbers he remained committed to the fiscal responsibility rules he had signed up to, including gradual debt reduction and remaining in surplus.

"We are committed to them as much as we are to the investments needed to transform our economy. Both are possible and both are necessary. We have been criticised by people who argue that these rules are too tight and on the other hand by those who, despite all evidence to the contrary, believe Labour-led governments cannot carefully manage the Government's books."

While much of the budget was aimed at addressing population growth, Robertson said economic growth could not simply be driven by population growth and property speculation.

"To transform our economy we have to work smarter and get more out of every hour worked."


His speech follows ministers claiming National left behind unfunded infrastructure spending plans, such as Education Minister Chris Hipkins' claims of a $1.1b hole in education.

Schools would also benefit from funding for old buildings and roll growth.