6 Aug 2012

Super Fund still to decide on top-up for PPP fund

8:16 am on 6 August 2012

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is yet to decide whether it will commit more money to Morrison and Co's ground-breaking Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund.

When the fund was launched in 2009, the investment bank touted the fund as a New Zealand first for funding infrastructure projects as public-private partnerships or PPPs.

So far it has invested in only two projects - Melbourne's Exhibition Centre and a school in West Auckland that it will design, build and run for the next 25 years.

The Super Fund invested $100 million, becoming its largest shareholder. It has an option to put in an extra $200 million, but must decide by October.

Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr says the fund will only be putting in more money if there is a demand and currently that's not the case, so it's been tough going for the Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund in particular to invest in New Zealand.

Mr Orr says a lack of PPPs in New Zealand hasn't helped the fund fulfil its early ambitions but that's not surprising, since this was the first fund of its type.

"We put the fund out, in large part, as part of a catalyst to get things moving," Mr Orr says, "but in between time...there's been an enormous amount of challenges for Government itself to develop the frameworks it wants, to get comfortable with the types of assets that might be suitable to PPP."