The national Infrastructure Strategy released by ‘Infrastructure commission Te Waihanga’ sets out infrastructure challenges and opportunities facing NZ over the next 30 years.
The Government has tabled its response to Te Waihanga/New Zealand Infrastructure Commission’s first infrastructure strategy. Published in June, Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa – New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy 2022–2052 set out the infrastructure challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the next 30 years.
Civil Contractors New Zealand Chief Executive Alan Pollard welcomed the Government’s response saying it was promising to see the government taking steps to overcome the country’s infrastructure deficit and support industry through change.
“The infrastructure strategy will inform our approach for the next 30 years. It gives industry and government vision and clarity. The government’s response is promising and provides a positive place to start working towards better outcomes for NZ communities.”
He said the government’s response to the 68 recommendations in the strategy also demonstrated the scale and scope of the country’s infrastructure construction and provision challenges.
Industry welcomed many of the initiatives in the Government’s response, such as support for increased construction waste minimisation, a more apparent pipeline of work that enabled the industry to invest in capability and capacity, support for emissions reduction, availability of technology, equipment and resources, and supporting people to join the workforce.
However, there were also risks, including a risk Government would overlook successful work currently in progress within the industry in favour of its transformation plans, Mr Pollard said.
“While it’s positive to see the Government take ownership of its lead role in delivering on the Strategy, there is also a risk it will use it to support its programmes and overlook the many valuable solutions already in play within industry, rather than create genuine partnerships for change.”
“This Government has already shown its commitment to address New Zealand’s infrastructure challenges. Over the next five years, we have committed to a further $61.9 billion of infrastructure investment,” said Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister.
He said key examples could be found in the successful Infrastructure Skills Centre pilot conducted in 2021 to provide an entry point for aspirational trade careers in civil infrastructure and the lack of mention or detail on the physical construction of horizontal infrastructure in many recent government reports.
Much of the response was also contingent on the success of ongoing reforms such as the Resource Management Act, education system and local government – all things that would require close interaction with industry to achieve the Strategy’s goals, Mr Pollard said.
“The infrastructure strategy is a blueprint for a new and exciting programme of infrastructure work. We look forward to putting it into action with all who are interested in helping build the future shape of our nation,” says Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.
The response to Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa – New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy 2022–2052 can be found here.
Image source: Courtesy of Civil Contractors New Zealand Incorporated
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