People are suggesting the way out of this recession is to spend big on infrastructure and other stuff.
Yes that will help a little provided the right investment in infrastructure is made to meet the needs of NZ in the next 50 years.
Trouble is do we really know what the next fifty years will bring us. It certainly will not be more of the same. Lets get real about what are the major underlying factors that will drive communities and economies.
Energy. We consume more and more each year. Imported energy like fuel will only get more expensive so why do we want to invest in roads when there may be less cars around. Public transport systems may be a better option. Electricity consumption will rise further so we need to look at cost effective generation or alternate ways of harvesting free energy like solar heat, solar energy, water energy and marine energy.
Health care. Aging populations demand better health care. The best health care we can give is preventative “medicine” education, lifestyle change, healthy homes and work places. An investment here will keep people out of health care, working, inventing, creating and living.
Technology. New technologies in communications, materials, construction, manufacturing need developing to enable lower energy use, lower carbon waste, improved performance and lower resource use to retain as much of our scarce resources as possible.
Investment in these areas including research and development, facilities, education, health services will go a long way to making NZ competitive in the long run.