$300m to accelerate rebuild projects, setting up an insurance tribunal for earthquake claims and boosting our schools rebuild programme is top of Christchurch’s Budget 2018 list.
ChristchurchNZ chief executive Joanna Norris says today’s Budget announcement provided important certainty which would benefit business confidence which should stimulate positive economic outcomes.
“The $300 million capital acceleration facility will help continue our city’s positive rebuild momentum,” Ms Norris says.
“Projects which might benefit from the acceleration fund include completion of the stadium and financing new uses for the Residential Red Zone,” she says.
“The additional funding will provide confidence to the private sector that ongoing investment in Canterbury is supported by public sector investment.”
Christchurch schools will also receive $62 million new capital investment for the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, which Ms Norris says continued investment in Christchurch’s school infrastructure will be a comfort to the sector and community which had been heavily impacted by the post-quake Canterbury Schools reorganisation.
“The reorganisation of the schools’ post-quake created some anxiety in many Canterbury communities but has also resulted in some modern fit-for-purpose school environments.”
ChristchurchNZ senior economist Peter Fieger says Christchurch’s business sector can benefit from the Government’s commitment to inject an additional $1.0 billion into business research and development over four years to finance an R&D tax incentive.
This incentive will eligible businesses 12.5 cents back for every dollar they spend on R&D – funding available to all businesses spending more than $1000,000 a year on R&D.
“We welcome the additional spending of $1billion for R&D which helps our businesses remain competitive in a rapidly changing global landscape,” Mr Fieger says.
$100 million of new capital funding has also been pledged for the Green Investment Fund, designed to encourage private-sector investment in high-value, low-carbon industries, clean tech and new jobs. The fund will be established by the end of 2018.
“The Green Investment Fund aligns with Christchurch’s strategic priority to be a leader in climate change and commitment to being net carbon neutral by 2030,” Mr Fieger says.
$2.6 million has also been committed to protecting the unique landscape and biodiversity of the Mackenzie Basin funding as part of additional Department of Conservation operating funding of $181.6 million
Ms Norris says: “This is a positive step to ensuring a quality visitor experience looking forward to further detail on how this will be weighed against existing property rights and land uses.”