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An essential ingredient for infrastructure

25 July 2011

An essential ingredient for infrastructure

The Aggregate and Quarry Association of New Zealand welcomes the Government’s recent National Infrastructure Plan 2011, which says that the government realises that infrastructure forms the backbone of all New Zealand communities, and that every individual New Zealander needs a greater level of confidence about infrastructure provision, costs and service levels.

“The industry is chomping at the bit to discuss future aggregate needs with those making infrastructure plans for the coming 20 years,” said AQA President Mike Lord. “Looking through the publication was like looking through an advertising manual for aggregates – every picture showed where New Zealand’s high demand for aggregate goes to – roads, buildings, underground works, dams – you name it – you are surrounded by it.”

There is a lot of ignorance about quarries and what they deliver, and how the natural product, aggregate, is used. It has been said that if it’s not animal or vegetable, then is it probably made from aggregate – the rock that quarries blast and crush to required size – right down to sand. And it is a component in almost everything man assembles.

“The aggregate industry is keen to provide the most cost effective and environmentally supportive product. But potential aggregate sources are becoming inaccessible as cities grow. That means having to truck the raw material to the project site – at a cost to the contractor (often rate payers), a cost to the road surface, and a cost to the environment through fuel use and emissions,” said Lord.

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The plan says that the government will develop a coordinate communications program with key stakeholders and partners in each sector to allow regular and meaningful communication on infrastructure issues, including identifying and collating information on regulatory barriers.

“This is music to our ears,” said Lord. “A national aggregate strategy for future aggregate sources is essential to the growth and economy of New Zealand going forward.”

Implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan will demand massive quantities of aggregate. Its requirements will form the framework for the AQA’s own strategic plan to ensure those future supplies will be available.


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