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It's time for councils to step up: English

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/02/2017

Prime Minister Bill English says the government has put $1 billion on the table for housing development infrastructure, and now it's time for councils to deliver the projects.

"They've been saying they were short of funding and now they've got to produce the projects," he said at his post-cabinet press conference on Monday.

"We've provided the resource - it's quite a test for councils as to whether they really do have projects that are being held up by lack of infrastructure."

The government announced the $1b infrastructure fund in July last year in response to complaints from councils that they didn't have the money to put in roads, drains and water supplies for new housing projects.

Councils with high population growth rates can apply to the fund, and the government clearly isn't happy about how long they're taking.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith last week said he wanted councils to put in their final proposals by March 31.

At the same time, Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce said only a small number of the 17 proposals received through the expression of interest phase would result in projects being advanced earlier than previously planned by councils.

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