International context

As Te Waihanga undertakes its work, it’s useful to see how infrastructure bodies (i-bodies) operate elsewhere. The following organisations develop infrastructure strategy, with varying levels of independence nationally and locally.


In Australia, Infrastructure Australia(external link) was formed in 2008, followed by state government i-bodies, New South Wales(external link) in 2011, and Victoria(external link), Queensland and Tasmania in 2015. Infrastructure South Australia(external link) and Western Australia(external link) established similar bodies in 2019. All Australian states now have an i-body.

The functions and governance of Australian infrastructure bodies vary. All Australian infrastructure bodies, except Building Queensland(external link), have a role in developing long-term plans or strategies and undertaking policy development. The Australian infrastructure bodies undertake project or business case assurance.

Infrastructure NSW has the most wide-ranging remit which extends to investment gateways, project delivery and procurement. Recently the organisation’s remit was expanded to include some elements of urban renewal.

United Kingdom

A National Infrastructure Commission(external link) (NIC) operates in the United Kingdom. It provides a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out the NIC’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to the government. The NIC does not have independent powers.


In Asia, the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and China have a single-minded focus on infrastructure. They pursue a national development model for planning, funding and delivering infrastructure, based on spatial plans. Notably, while each of the three Asian systems supports varying degrees of democratic decision making, none are democratic in the western sense.

Singapore’s Urban Regional Authority (external link)develops a 40-50 year Concept Plan which identifies the city-state’s land requirements. A 10-15 year Master Plan takes the land allocations from the Concept Plan, applies a strategic framework and produces a detailed land use plan which departments of central government deliver on, sequencing delivery to meet market needs.