Less hui, more do-ey – please!

Over the summer break I was one of several economists asked to give our hopes for 2020.

My response focussed solely on government action.

I wanted to see less hui, more do-ey in 2020.

Specifically, I wanted to see the government take advantage of a strong balance sheet and record low interest rates to get much-needed infrastructure work off the ground.

I was sick of hearing just talk and instead wanted projects named and timelines given for getting the work underway. I also wanted the projects to be based around real needs from the economic geography of where people work, live, play and do business, rather than be allocated solely on the basis of political geographical considerations.

With this in mind, it was great to see Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s infrastructure announcement a couple of weeks back.

His $12bn package is a practical action list, that names projects and timeframes, as well as being fully-funded in the Budget.

I was less pleased about some of the gaps I saw around the country, with some money being given to the squeakiest political wheel rather than local economies facing the biggest pressure. But it was a great start, and the relevant ministers that sit across individual portfolios have signalled more is to come.

To read my wish list for 2020, and those of other New Zealand economists, please click here.