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Greater roading certainty by extension of plan

29 August 2006
For immediate release

Roading sector given greater certainty by extension of State Highway Plan

New Zealand’s roading sector received a confidence boost today when Transport Minister Annette King announced the State Highway plan has been extended to a guaranteed six-year period.

The Minister made the announcement this morning at the Roading New Zealand ‘Better Value Roading’ Conference, held in Wellington.

Roading New Zealand chief executive Chris Olsen welcomes the announcement. “The announcement is entirely consistent with the better value roading theme of this year’s Roading New Zealand Conference. It also puts into place one of the suggestions of the keynote speakers to achieve better value roading by improving funding and programming certainty”, he says.

The initial announcement of the State Highway plan in May prompted the sector to look at the improvement of processes and gearing up to prepare the industry for the increase in work to come with the plan’s implementation.

Annette King says the extension of the State Highway Plan means there will be certainty for Transit New Zealand, local government and the construction industry at any point in the Plan, including at the newly scheduled three-year update. “This Government is committed to improving New Zealand’s transport infrastructure and I certainly hope this latest change will help do just that”, she said this morning.

Roading New Zealand’s annual conference was the perfect place for the latest announcement, with key industry leaders and international experts in attendance. The focus of this year’s conference is to move the roading sector to a new level of better value, with innovation, cost pressures and tendering procedures being important discussion points.

The keynote speakers Don Ward, chief operating officer of the UK Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment, and Steve Rowsell, Procurement Director for UK Highways Agency, are international experts on roading procurement. The two keynote sessions discussed leading practice in the UK and how tendering and procurement processes could be improved in New Zealand to provide better value in the sector.

Don Ward and Steve Rowsell will be in the country for the rest of the week to meet with representatives from the roading and construction industry.

Keynote Speakers

Don Ward
Chief Operating Officer, UK Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment
Don is one of the leading figures in procurement in the UK. He has over twenty years experience of best practice in the construction industry specializing in industry changer, supply chain integration and collaborative working. As chief executive of the Construction Industry Board, he worked with Sir Michael Latham, UK industry’s representative bodies and other stakeholders to implement the 1994 “Latham report” and latterly the 1998 “Egan report”.

Steve Rowsell
Procurement Director, UK Highways Agency
Steve has spearheaded the Agency’s drive towards Best Value Tendering using a partnering approach with new initiatives such as the Agency’s new Procurement Strategy, the introduction of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contracts, the Capability Assessment Toolkit (CAT) and new developments in performance specification and management. He has led the development of new processes to speed up the delivery of major road profects as part of the 10 Year Plan proporals. He is a chartered Civil Engineer and has worked for the Department of Transport, latterly the Highways Agency, for 30 years.


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