The government announced a key step towards fulfilment of one of its coalition agreement promises, committing $500,000 for a study into the potential to upgrade and expand rail services north of Auckland, including a new spur line to connect Whangarei's Northport to the rail system.
The possibility of rejuvenating the rail line north of Auckland will be investigated as part of the latest tranche of announcements from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Auckland Councillors have approved an 11.5 cent a litre regional fuel tax to fund transport projects - but with impassioned criticism from some councillors who say the poorest citizens will be disproportionately affected.
Here are the eight news events that mattered this week in New Zealand's political economy.
Here's my read on the eight things that mattered in the political economy over the last week.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has used his pre-Budget speech to announce a fresh belt tightening exercise by his ministers and has indicated a tax revenue windfall over the last six months is more likely to be used on extra operational spending than extra capital spending when he delivers Budget 2018 next Thursday.
The news that mattered this morning
The Super Fund's bid to build and own Auckland's light rail lines is a political gift for Labour, but disguises a potentially expensive money-go-round between state-owned entities.
The Government could roll out public private partnerships to fund infrastructure projects across Auckland and Wellington, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Finance Minister Grant Robertson said today after the surprise launch of a plan for light rail lines in Auckland that could be funded by a New Zealand Superannuation Fund-led consortium.
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Canadian fund manager CDPQ Infra have made an unsolicited bid to build and operate two lines in the proposed Auckland light rail, which are already getting $1.8 billion of seed investment.