What might the Bud­get bring Chch?

The Press - - News -

To­day is crunch time for the Gov­ern­ment to front up on its pre­elec­tion Christchurch prom­ises with the re­lease of the 2018 Bud­get.

Prior to the elec­tion, Labour com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing a $300 mil­lion re­build cap­i­tal fund; putting $100 mil­lion to­wards pub­lic trans­port, in­clud­ing com­muter rail be­tween Rolle­ston and cen­tral Christchurch; and bring­ing in sev­eral ini­tia­tives to help peo­ple still strug­gling with earth­quake in­sur­ance claims – in­clud­ing a tri­bunal process to set­tle com­plex claims and es­tab­lish­ing a $1m fund for test court cases to clar­ify ma­jor is­sues.

When these points have been raised since the new Gov­ern­ment was formed, a com­mon line in re­sponse has been that they are de­pen­dant on the Bud­get.

Greater Christchurch Re­gen­er­a­tion Min­is­ter Me­gan Woods said it was go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing Bud­get for Christchurch: ‘‘It’s about lay­ing the foun­da­tions for the type of fu­ture we all want for our city.’’

Woods has pre­vi­ously said she had put in a Bud­get bid for the $300m cap­i­tal fund.

The fund would be aimed at re­build projects, like the multi-use sta­dium and Avon River red zone, and for road and wa­ter pipe im­prove­ments and flood pro­tec­tion.

The Christchurch City Coun­cil would be able to choose how the money was spent, sub­ject to Gov­ern­ment sign-off.

Woods pre­vi­ously said she has had ‘‘ini­tial dis­cus­sions’’ with the coun­cil, Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Grant Robert­son about what projects would be con­sid­ered for the fund.

A change in Gov­ern­ment trans­port pol­icy di­rec­tion, mov­ing away from state high­way up­grades and to­wards light rail and road safety, has the $100m of trans­port money look­ing likely. Woods pre­vi­ously said the an­nounce­ment put Christchurch com­muter rail ‘‘on the ta­ble’’.

Rail be­tween Christchurch and Rolle­ston makes up part of the $100m promised for pub­lic trans­port, with some ex­pected for bus in­fra­struc­ture, eas­ing of con­ges­tion and the cre­ation of com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

STUFF

The Labour Gov­ern­ment’s Bud­get will be an­nounced to­day.

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