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Source: New Zealand Infrastructure Commission

Today, the Government released its Infrastructure Action Plan. The Action Plan supports the Government’s response to Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy.
“As reflected in its response and Action Plan, the Government supports the overall direction of the New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy,” Te Waihanga Chief Executive Ross Copland says.
“Most of the actions identified in the Action Plan sit across the Government’s existing reform programme and we agree with the importance of ensuring existing commitments are delivered well. We also agree with the focus on being smarter with how public infrastructure is planned and delivered.”
Te Waihanga is leading work on three of the Government’s highlighted actions that are aimed at achieving a step change in infrastructure planning and delivery.
– Working with Treasury and the sector to develop an infrastructure priority list that will support longer-term thinking and planning, provide more certainty for suppliers, and enable capacity to be established in the right places.
– Researching how government infrastructure providers and Māori engage, and work, with each other on the planning and development of infrastructure.
– Working with the Public Service Commission to ensure development of leaders is aligned across the public sector, including on the option of a major projects leadership programme.
“There’s a need to strengthen government as a sophisticated client of infrastructure when it comes to the planning, delivery and maintenance of our infrastructure networks, which all three of these actions will help address,” Copland says.
He adds that while it’s essential that the current work programme is delivered, proposed reforms will need to be well calibrated to bring about the transformation that’s required.
“We know, for example, that a 50% improvement in resource consent processing times could be needed to meet our 2050 emissions target. And while many actions are already underway, the Strategy highlights that much more will be required to meet our infrastructure challenges.
“We urgently need to put in place the settings that will enable the infrastructure we need to deliver on our net-zero emission goals and support better use of existing infrastructure. Part of delivering well on current reforms means taking a long-term approach and allowing for different levels of growth so we don’t limit our future,” Copland says.
Te Waihanga will lead reporting on progress against the Infrastructure Strategy recommendations and the Action Plan.
“We will be working with the sector to ensure our parts of the Action Plan are achieved and the objectives of the New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy are realised. As part of that, we’ll be tracking progress on the recommendations and providing regular updates,” says Copland.
“Te Waihanga published New Zealand’s first Infrastructure Strategy last May. The Strategy serves as a map to address New Zealand’s infrastructure challenges. The Government’s Action Plan is an important step in achieving our infrastructure goals.
“But to address New Zealand’s infrastructure challenges we need to think wider than the central government’s Action Plan – no one sector can do it alone. Central and local government, iwi and the private sector will need to work together to build a legacy for future generations that we can be proud of.”
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