Infrastructure For A Better Future
The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission recently called for submissions on its 30-year Infrastructure Strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand – Civil Contractors New Zealand and Infrastructure New Zealand had this to say.
Infrastructure New Zealand
New Zealand infrastructure deficit is around $20 billion and results from decades of underinvestment by successive governments. This deficit is affecting our wellbeing, costing New Zealanders in lost income and productivity.
The matter is not helped by a constant focus on the short-to -medium-term. Our Budget 2021 commentary outlined that the Budget’s attempts are primarily concentrated in the 2021 and 2022 years, with capital investment trailing off by 2025.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy could act as a critical catalyst to changing this. The Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga was established in 2019 to coordinate, develop, and promote an infrastructure approach that encourages infrastructure (and services that result from the infrastructure) that improves New Zealanders’ wellbeing.
The Commission is required to prepare a 30-year infrastructure strategy. It sought feedback on a consultation document titled He Tūāpapa ki te ora: Infrastructure for a Better Future to help develop the draft Infrastructure Strategy. The commission will submit a draft strategy to the Minister for Infrastructure in September 2021 (which will eventually be tabled in Parliament). It will contain a set of recommendations for the Minister to consider and provide a response.
Our submission supported most of the findings and options identified.
We also held member workshops to allow the commission to present and engage directly with members. These workshops were well attended and provided a unique opportunity for members to influence the commission’s strategy directly.
Civil Contractors New Zealand
Civil Contractors NZ made a submission on 2 July as part of this consultation process. The submission supports much the contents and direction of the consultation document. The key feedback points CCNZ wished to emphasise were:
- the need for improved active asset management
- the need for a greater focus in the maintenance and replacement of existing infrastructure to optimise its operation and life
- the need to build our people capability and capacity to meet our future the design, construction, operations and maintenance needs
- the need to take a whole of life value approach to the design and construction of infrastructure not just focusing on things like waste and carbon during the construction phase
- the need to ensure that we build, support and maintain a healthy market of contractors of different sizes and skills. This will ensure healthy competition and promote innovation.
CCNZ believes future infrastructure must be built around a reliable and accurate long-term pipeline that enables organisations to effectively plan and resource the design, construction, operation, maintenance, replacement and ultimate decommissioning of infrastructure.
CCNZ members respond to the needs of clients in terms of the type of infrastructure they build and maintain. However, if the type of infrastructure and the associated skills and capital equipment requirements change there needs to be sufficient time for these to be developed and equipment secured.
Infrastructure impacts on every New Zealanders quality of life. It is essential that we design, build and maintain infrastructure that meets or exceed the expectations of future generations.