What's in it for the landscape architecture profession?
The government has decided to invest in green infrastructure and the conservation estate in order to save and then protect jobs across the country, writes the NZILA Tuia Pito Ora president, Brad Coombs.
The focus of the $50 billion Rescue and Recovery budget is on saving and protecting jobs through an extension of the wage subsidy in the first instance and by catalysing projects throughout the regions.
The wage subsidy extension could help some landscape architecture practices if they have seen their income drop by 50% or more.
The tourism and hospitality sectors are a focus of the budget and the areas of most concern as they have been hit hard by travel restrictions, in particular.
Of interest to the landscape architecture sector, the government is looking to invest in a number of areas where our members are already working:
- $5 billion over the next 5 years on 8,000 state and transitional houses
- $3 billion on infrastructure
- $1.2 billion of the railway network
And while there is more detail to come on some of the big numbers around the infrastructure spend, more detail is available on what is being called the 'green new deal'. This is an idea that was being discussed long before COVID-19 disrupted our world and our national economy. The idea that we can invest in our natural world and green infrastructure to manage our environment in a more responsible manner, providing long term resilience and slowing climate change. Included in the detail of the budget is:
- $433 million for new jobs in regional environmental projects
- $315 million on biosecurity, including enhanced weed and pest control
- $200 million for the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature Fund
- $154 million for new jobs enhancing biodiversity on both public and private land
The government has realised that spending on concrete and diggers isn't the only, or even the most efficient way of keeping people employed across a wide range of sectors throughout the country. Investing in our environment and green infrastructure is an important focus of the budget.
You can find the full detail on Budget 2020 here.