A step-change to tackle our future infrastructure challenges
20 August 2015
The latest Infrastructure Plan provides a roadmap to tackle the infrastructure challenges faced by New Zealand over the next 30 years. It sets out a necessary step-change in New Zealand’s approach to infrastructure planning and management says Lindsay Crossen, Chair of the National Infrastructure Advisory Board.
"While we generally have a good infrastructure base today, we face growing future pressures. Our assets are getting older and will soon need replacing, our population is aging, we face a shift in economic gravity towards Asia, and we face regional growth in some areas and decline in others," he says.
"Infrastructure is a vital part of our every-day lives and addressing these pressures requires a more sophisticated approach to infrastructure planning and management. We cannot simply build more things, especially as affordability pressures begin to bite. Technology influences are also likely to both heavily modify and benefit infrastructure services. Tackling the pressures ahead will require strong leadership."
Mr. Crossen states that the Plan provides a broad consensus across the public and private sector on what the new approach is and how to get there.
"This Plan is a major step forward in collaboration across central government, local government and the private sector to the three main elements of the new approach: we need a better understanding of the levels of service we want to deliver; more mature asset management practices and use of data; and more effective decision-making that considers non-asset solutions.
"But the Plan is more than just an agreement on a new approach. For the first time, it includes a specific Action Plan to help us make the necessary shift. It includes the development of national shared data standards for our roads, building and water assets to give us a consistent base to build evidence and deepen our capability to manage these networks.
"It also directly addresses the need for long-term integrated regional infrastructure planning, stronger practices for larger procurements including increasing the transparency of future intentions, greater alignment of our planning legislation and the development of a trans-Tasman procurement market," says Mr. Crossen.
"Central and local government own approximately 220 billion dollars’ worth of assets and plan to spend another $100 billion over the next ten years. This Plan will ensure that we spend our money wisely, and find more innovative ways of better managing our existing infrastructure."
Chair, National Infrastructure Advisory Board
The Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan 2015 is available at: www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/2015
The National Infrastructure Advisory Board was established to advise the National Infrastructure Unit (NIU) and the Minister of Finance, and is made up of members from the private sector and outside central government.
The Board provides both the Minister and the NIU with advice and perspectives on infrastructure project appraisal, capital asset management issues and the development and implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan.
The current members of the Board are: Lindsay Crossen (Chair), Matthew Birch, Margaret Devlin, Kathryn Edmonds, Edward Guy, Carl Hansen, Dr Terence Heiler and John Rae.
Further information on the Board, including profiles of the members, is available on the NIU website above.
Aidan Meerman, Principal Communications Adviser
Telephone: (04) 917 6163 or (027) 4243 266