Infrastructure new Zealand MEDIA & RELEASES

Our media releases keep you up to date with the latest infrastructure developments in New Zealand.

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  • 19 Nov 2020 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Hamilton City Council’s Te Awa River Path Project won the 2020 Infrastructure New Zealand Excellence in Social Impact Award, sponsored by Downer at the ReBuilding Nations Gala Dinner last night.

    The project repaired and restored a 2.4km section of the Te Awa River Ride path which runs along the western side of the Waikato River, while creating employment for 50 people who had lost jobs due to COVID19.

    Award judge, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and award-winning social and sustainable procurement expert Alice Bray said the Te Awa River Path was an excellent example of an infrastructure initiative that has gone above and beyond to enable outstanding economic, social and cultural outcomes. “Te Awa River project captured the heart of the Excellence in Social Impact Award. Hamilton City Council went above and beyond to provide for those facing unemployment due to COVID19, partnering with their supplier base, other government agencies and their community to create lasting economic and employment outcomes for their region. The swift action and leadership taken by all involved in the Te Awa River project resulted in positive change for the 50 individuals impacted, their whānau and wider community. COVID19 required us to band together to support each other, a mission that this project absolutely succeeded in.”

    Hamilton City Council (HCC) was granted funding by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Provincial Growth Fund in June 2020 to enhance a section of the much-loved Te Awa River Ride Pathway, which connects key destinations and green spaces throughout the city and provides important recreation opportunities for Hamiltonians. HCC sourced workers for the project from the Ministry of Social Development, with a focus on employing those who were out of work due to the COVID19 pandemic.

    Another aim of the project was to provide workers with skills they could use in future employment. 17 workers completed HCC’s five-day Road Ready training programme aimed at preparing workers for careers in the construction sector and equipping them with transferrable skills they could use for life.

    Recognising the importance of the Waikato’s awa (rivers and waterways) to Iwi, HCC partnered with Waikato-Tainui and Ngati Haua Trust to deliver the training programme and project.

    Infrastructure New Zealand Board Member and award judge Tracey Ryan said the Te Awa River project demonstrated a clear intention and genuine impact, “Hamilton City Council achieved a range of outcomes with the Te Awa River Path project – enhancing the environment to make Hamilton a great place to live, work, play and visit, while providing immediate support and recovery to people who had lost jobs due to COVID19. HCC also provided an important boost to the local economy by letting 100% of the contract value to local businesses.”

    Hamilton City Council was chosen from 18 other entries to win the Infrastructure New Zealand Excellence in Social Impact Award, sponsored by Downer.


    Several other projects also received special awards:

    Highly Commended

    • Auckland Council-owned Healthy Waters and Māori SME Height Project Management for their Sustainable Outcomes Toolkit, a user-friendly resource to help procuring organisations identify social outcomes opportunities, embed them in the tender process and evaluate and measure them.
    • Citycare for their partnership with the Student Volunteer Army to fund community impact projects and their commitment to creating employment opportunities for Māori and Pasifika, the long-term unemployed, the disabled, youth and women prisoners finishing their sentences.

    Special Award - Contribution to the Industry

    • Mates in Construction for its contribution to the construction industry in reducing the over representation of suicide and poor mental health.


    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Sarah Lang on 021 733 434


  • 18 Nov 2020 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “To achieve the outcomes the Government wants, it will have to define them, publish them and incorporate them in a new combined strategic and land use planning Act,” says Hamish Glenn, Policy Director at Infrastructure New Zealand.

    Infrastructure New Zealand has released a new white paper today at the Building Nations Symposium in Auckland. The report outlines how the New Zealand Government can shift from a largely budget-focused and inputs-based system to an aspirational goal-setting system which promotes outcomes and wellbeing.

    “It’s one thing to say we want healthy, affordable homes, or to have a productive, net-zero carbon economy, but without a strategy for achieving these goals, we will never get there.

    “We have looked at a number of leading jurisdictions overseas. Three Governments pursue an approach targeting outcomes and wellbeing similar to the aspirations of New Zealand: Scotland, Ireland and Hong Kong.

    “They each apply the same basic formula and this provides important insights into how New Zealand can not only aspire to, but actually achieve, the outcomes everyone wants.

    “First, the Governments clearly identify and define the national strategic outcomes they want prioritised.

    “Second, they develop an integrated spatial and investment framework which translates the outcomes into a real-world representation of what is required to achieve the vision.

    “Third, they ensure the investment required to encourage and incentivise development in alignment with national direction is funded.

    “For New Zealand to achieve outcomes, we need to do the same.

    “We need the priority outcomes the Government wants to achieve clearly defined and articulated. We need infrastructure to be integrated with spatial and land use planning to understand future needs, and we need commitment to implementation.

    “A barrier we face, however, is that neither the Resource Management Act in its current form, nor the recent recommendations of the review panel support this type of approach.

    “Misalignment of vision, strategic and land use planning and of planning with investment will impede the Government’s outcomes aspirations.

    “New Zealand will remain dependent on regulation to stop what we don’t want. What we need is a system where we incentivise and enable what we do want.

    “To shift New Zealand to a system of government which not only aspires to but achieves outcomes and wellbeing, the Government should:

    • Urgently develop a set of National Strategic Outcomes which collectively represent the Government’s vision for wellbeing.
    • Direct the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission / Te Waihanga to develop its infrastructure strategy with a view to enabling the National Strategic Outcomes.
    • Complete reform of resource management statute, bringing together strategic and land use planning and developing dedicated environmental protection statute.

    “With the right approach New Zealand can leverage COVID investment to build back better and provide all of government, business and individuals with the leadership needed to achieve shared objectives,” says Glenn.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229


  • 28 Oct 2020 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Infrastructure New Zealand’s flagship event Building Nations won the Best Corporate Event Award at the New Zealand Event Association Awards (NZEA) at the Civic Theatre’s Winter Garden last night.

    More than 105 entries were received for the highly coveted awards, recognising Building Nations as one of New Zealand’s leading business events.

    Infrastructure New Zealand Board Chair, Andrew Stevens said the award was testament to the efforts of the Infrastructure New Zealand team, “It’s hard to believe how far we have come, from our very first Building Nations Symposium at Villa Maria in 2006 with a mere 40 delegates, to the premier event on the infrastructure calendar that attracts so many delegates only a handful of venues in the country can accommodate us.”

    Stevens also reiterated the importance of Building Nations’ sponsors in consistently delivering a high-quality event, especially premier sponsor ANZ ,“This award is for our sponsors as much as it is for Infrastructure New Zealand. Without their support, an event like Building Nations just wouldn’t be possible – especially in a year as turbulent as this one.”

    Building Nations 2019 was also a finalist in the Best Local Government Event and Best International Event award categories and Infrastructure New Zealand Event and Member Services Director Sally Bunce was a finalist in the Established Event Professional Award, recognising her skill and experience in delivering high-end events.

     Infrastructure New Zealand interim Chief Executive John Rae said Sally consistently raised the bar each year at Building Nations and the other events she facilitates for Infrastructure New Zealand. Sally has an exceptional understanding of what it takes to deliver a highly complex and high-profile conference programme while seamlessly managing suppliers, sponsors, presenters, and delegates. Her innovation and professionalism have given our events a ‘wow’ factor and made Infrastructure NZ well known for its quality delivery, industry leadership and expertise.”

    Building Nations is New Zealand’s premier infrastructure event, attended by 700+ private and public sector infrastructure leaders. ReBuilding Nations 2020 will be held at Henderson’s Trusts Arena on November 18 and 19, with the theme of Building Back Better.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Sarah Lang on 021 733 434
  • 27 Oct 2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Infrastructure New Zealand has announced the finalists of the 2020 Excellence in Social Impact Award, sponsored by Downer, recognising infrastructure projects that have gone above and beyond to enable outstanding social, cultural and/or economic outcomes for our communities.

    The finalists have shone a spotlight on best-practice in social impact and provide an exemplar to other organisations in what can be achieved, says Margaret Devlin Infrastructure NZ Board member and award judge, “Infrastructure New Zealand wants to normalise social impact in infrastructure projects. With the significant volume of projects coming to market to contribute to New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19, we have a huge opportunity to make a meaningful difference for our communities.”

    Infrastructure NZ Board member and Award judge Tracey Ryan said it was pleasing to see the broad range of impact initiatives underway across the sector, “That we had 19 strong entrants in this award is powerful evidence of the step change happening in the sector to use infrastructure projects as a lever for broader social, economic and cultural outcomes,” said Tracey.

    The finalists are:

    • Hamilton City Council’s Te Awa River Path project, which repaired and restored a section of the Hamilton Cycle Trails while providing employment to 50 people who had lost jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis.
    • Watercare’s Central Interceptor is delivering a lasting legacy for Tāmaki Makarau and their workforce, by supporting social enterprise Make Give Live; establishing a Dig Deep literacy programme to help members of the workforce build reading and writing skills; establishing and funding the Morningside Urban Market Garden; developing a Mana Whenua laundry service; providing opportunities for Māori and Pasifika through a youth internship programme and creating the Wānanga Māreikura programme to empower wāhine Māori.
    • City Rail Link’s (CRL) Progressive Employment Programme supports Māori and Pasifika youth transition into work. CRL partnered with Lifewise, Rising Foundation and Te Ara Rangatahi to deliver a 19-week programme which helps rangatahi build skills and gain confidence in the workforce.
    • Auckland Transport and Makaurau marae demonstrated a step change in supplier diversity by tendering the Makaurau Marae Carpark project only to Māori and Pasifika businesses through He Waka Eke Noa.

    Downer celebrates 150 years in New Zealand this year and has a strong history of social impact. EGM Strategy and Development, Duncan Kenderdine, says “Downer is focussed on building a stronger New Zealand and we see social impact as a key element of the way we do business. It was clear from the calibre of entries in the award that each would have a transformational impact on their local community. In a year with many challenges, it helps to share the load and keep our communities healthy and in meaningful employment."

    Award judge, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and award-winning social and sustainable procurement expert Alice Bray said the calibre of all entries was high, “My hope is that this award solidifies where our sector is going, inspires us to think bigger, and challenges us to partner together for impact.”

    Peer Review judge Dr Seán Barnes, Director, Social Procurement, Akina Foundation said the award celebrates how far the sector has come and challenges us to continue, "Aotearoa is increasingly looking to use social procurement as a tool to deliver greater social and environmental outcomes through infrastructure spend, and the Infrastructure NZ Excellence in Social Impact Award is timely to showcase the success being achieved. The finalists demonstrate real leadership, the different ways impact can be achieved, and show us what is possible moving forward."

    The winner of the Infrastructure New Zealand Social Impact Award, sponsored by Downer will be announced at the ReBuilding Nations Gala Dinner on Wednesday 18 November.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Sarah Lang on 021 733 434 


  • 07 Oct 2020 12:37 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “The reopening of eight lanes of traffic on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge is a welcome sight and provides the opportunity for a considered and independent examination of all Waitematā Harbour crossing options by the Infrastructure Commission,” says Hamish Glenn Policy Director at Infrastructure New Zealand.

    “That a steel strut some 6 storeys high could be manufactured, transported and installed into one of New Zealand’s most heavily utilised and critical infrastructure assets in such a short period is something to celebrate.

    “It buys the Upper North Island some time – time which must be spent wisely if Auckland is to limit future disruptions to travel and the national economy is to be supported into the future.

    “A review into the transport and wider infrastructure demands of the Upper North Island will need to be initiated by the incoming Government with some urgency.

    “Current expectations are that some form of loading restriction will need to be placed on heavy vehicles using the bridge by around 2030 as the structure reaches its maximum safe weight limit. By 2046, some 27,000 trucks are anticipated to want to cross the harbour every day. The additional time and cost to use the Western Ring Route is estimated at $40 per trip, or around $400 million per annum.

    “To have a new crossing operational by 2030, critical decisions on that crossing’s form and alignment will need to be made within the term of the next Government.

    “If a harbour crossing solution is required by 2030, as available evidence suggests, this will impact imminent decisions on the Northern Pathway project. We may be better off bundling the pathway project into a comprehensive multi-modal option and providing for active modes on either the new structure or, as proposed in 2010, repurposing a lane of the existing bridge

    “These are ‘now’ decisions, not future decisions. They will impact not just transport, but infrastructure and development across Auckland and wider economic activity in the Upper North Island.

    “They need to be coordinated with a long term plan for the economy, society and the environment.

    “It is appropriate that the Government’s specialised infrastructure advisor Te Waihanga – the Infrastructure Commission evaluates the options for a new crossing to ensure the best long term decision is made for all New Zealand.

    “Should the crossing be just rail, just road or both? We will need to understand how we move across the harbour, particularly in a new post-COVID world.

    “What solution will unlock developable land and help address Auckland’s housing crisis? The last detailed published analysis of harbour crossing demand was in 2010, in the midst of the GFC. Since then, we’ve seen record population growth, a new district plan and now a National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

    “What form should that crossing take and where should it land? Recent analysis has shown that an additional crossing which does not address the issue of constraints at the northern and southern approaches to the bridge will have a limited impact on network flow and resilience. Are there other alignments which could remove or reduce the dependency on these corridors and could they help achieve wider transport and economic objectives for the region?

    “The Infrastructure Commission has the experience and independence required to answer these questions – which are bigger than Auckland, bigger than transport and bigger than any single Government – with the best available information.

    “The next Government should instruct the Commission to rigorously analyse options which will best meet the needs of New Zealanders now and into the future,” Glenn says.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229 


  • 02 Oct 2020 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “City and regional infrastructure partnerships would go a long way to depoliticising investment decision-making and supporting regional development,” says Infrastructure NZ Policy Director Hamish Glenn.

    “Today, ACT announced its intention to establish partnerships between central and local government to fund and deliver agreed infrastructure programmes.  

    “The proposals are consistent with Infrastructure New Zealand’s 2019 Building Regions report which sets out comprehensive reform for how the country plans, funds, and delivers infrastructure.

    “Partnerships would empower regions to deliver infrastructure according to a 30-year plan which they would co-develop with central government.

    “Central government would monitor performance and provide funding where regional and central goals aligned.

    “Flexible funding through shared GST, increased user charges, as well as existing tools such as local rates, central government funding, and PPPs, would give regions certainty about their options and allow them to strategically plan development according to both future demands and possible revenue.


    “Ideally, these partnerships would be aligned with the Infrastructure Commission’s 30-year strategy and implemented via a reformed planning system.

    “It’s pleasing to see political momentum growing for new incentive-based approaches to solve New Zealand’s longstanding growth and development challenges.

    “We cannot as a country expect to overcome the issues of the past and recover from COVID using the same approaches which gave rise to simultaneous housing, transport and water crises.

    "A partnership approach which improves infrastructure decision making, supports regional development and enables collaboration with local government should be a priority for all political parties," says Glenn.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229 



  • 02 Oct 2020 6:08 AM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “Labour’s commitment to replace the RMA means there is now agreement across the major parties to reform our most contentious piece of legislation. But it is vital that this once in a generation opportunity for reform actually enables improved environmental and development outcomes,” says Hamish Glenn Policy Director at Infrastructure New Zealand. 

    “It is very pleasing to see that, regardless of who wins this month’s election, the new Government will move forward with replacing the Resource Management Act (RMA).

    “The RMA is the Act which is supposed to both protect the environment and enable development and use of natural resources, including providing housing and infrastructure to support growth.

    “Yet almost 30 years following its inception, the RMA, and the two other planning laws (the Local Government Act 2002 and the Land Transport Management Act 2003) have, between them, resulted in worsening environmental performance, an infrastructure deficit and seriously unaffordable homes.

    “The Government should be commended for initiating the Resource Management System Review chaired by Hon Tony Randerson QC which usefully recommended that the RMA be replaced.

    “However, the Panel’s proposal is a much more complex statutory framework comprising no less than six Acts – the existing LGA, LTMA, and Climate Change Adaption Act, plus a new Natural and Built Environment Act and Strategic Planning Act to replace the RMA, and a Managed Retreat Climate Change Adaptation Act.

    “Adding more legislation to an existing complex mix of laws to be implemented by an under resourced and fragmented local and central government system potentially makes matters worse, not better.

    “It is critical that the implementation agencies in central and local government have the capacity, capability, resources and incentive needed to deliver better results.

    “These issues sat outside the Panel’s Terms of Reference, but will need to be considered by the next Government.

    “That Government must be able to lead the planning system with a clearly articulated vision and set of priorities which are implemented via aligned funding and empowered governance arrangements,” said Glenn.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229 


  • 17 Sep 2020 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “The Government’s 10 year $55 billion transport commitment to address safety, freight, choice and climate change priorities sets a new investment benchmark, but the next Government will need to fully mobilise transport planning, funding and investment if New Zealand is to achieve, rather than just promote, transport outcomes,” says Hamish Glenn, Policy Director at Infrastructure New Zealand

    “The newly released Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) allocates an average of $4.8 billion per annum over the next decade to Waka Kotahi – the NZ Transport Agency.

    “When combined with the $6.8 billion NZ Upgrade Programme and other initiatives, transport investment in New Zealand will reach record levels.

    “Pleasingly, the Government has responded quickly to industry calls for urgent maintenance work with an additional $500 million of funding for state highways. 

    “The Road to Zero safety campaign has also seen a major boost of over $400 million per year in annual funding since the last GPS. Significant increases also flow to the rail network.

    “However, missing from this GPS are several key initiatives necessary to not just promote outcomes, but achieve them.

    “The Government has committed to keeping road taxes at existing levels for three years, but still expects National Land Transport Fund revenues to rise from $4.4 billion to $5.1 billion over the coming decade.

    “This suggests New Zealanders will not only keep driving conventionally powered vehicles, but they’ll drive them more.

    “This GPS could, and arguably should, have signalled Government intentions to ‘flip the fleet’, support new transport energy infrastructure and rapidly expand electric and other renewably-powered vehicles.

    “Transport remains New Zealand’s best opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and doesn’t need to just do its part, but must compensate for sectors like agriculture where renewable technologies are not yet mature.

    “Major improvements to transport funding and financing are a strategic highlight of the GPS, but remain under-developed in practice.  

    “Road pricing needs to be progressed in the next term of Government or increasing fuel efficiency will begin to undermine revenue before an adequate solution can be put in place.

    "It is also essential to optimise traffic flow, thereby reducing congestion and increasing productivity.

    “Billions of dollars of real estate value is being created through investment in high quality rapid transit, but our willingness to ask beneficiaries to contribute remains disappointing.

    "Failure to implement value capture policies penalises transport users and funders, many of whom, perversely, can no longer afford the inflated cost of housing near employment. It also incentivises property speculation, undermining housing affordability.

    “An open mind to alternative financing is welcome, but with just $1.5 billion of debt against $4.5 billion of annual revenue, there is wide scope for Waka Kotahi to borrow more.

    "A small amount of additional borrowing would be sufficient to address maintenance backlogs on both road and rail networks, improving reliability and safety.

    “If transport and broader national outcomes really are the priority, all available tools need to be implemented, not just investigated.

    “This GPS is a major step forward, but if the Government is serious about actually achieving, rather than just promoting, strategic transport priorities it is going to have to employ the full range of tools at its disposal,” Glenn says.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229 


  • 24 Aug 2020 3:58 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Infrastructure New Zealand member,

    I am writing to let you know that Paul Blair is going to be leaving Infrastructure New Zealand as our CEO and that John Rae, who will be well known to many of you, will be leading the business in the interim period while we start a replacement recruitment process.

    In the time Paul has been with us Infrastructure New Zealand has continued to grow as the sector’s peak industry body in enabling world class infrastructure for New Zealanders. This has taken on crucial new importance as the country moves through and on from the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Paul has decided to consider fresh opportunities and projects. We thank him for his good work in the last twelve months and wish him well. We are very happy to have a sector executive of John’s experience take up the interim leadership role. As a former long-serving Chairman of Infrastructure New Zealand, John is well known to staff and members. He brings deep knowledge and experience of our organisation and the sector and a commitment to advancing the contribution both make.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all, our key membership, for your continued and ongoing support.  

    We have commenced the process and expect to make an appointment of a new CEO by the year’s end.

    As always, we will be happy to talk further or take up any questions you may have if you wish to contact me at chair@infrastructure.org.nz.

    Kind regards,

    Andrew 

    Chairman, Infrastructure New Zealand


  • 29 Jul 2020 12:38 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    We fully support the Resource Management Review Panel’s recommendation to replace the RMA with two new Acts, which reflects growing consensus of the way forward but, if changes are not also made to local government responsibilities and rewards, then it is difficult to see how plans will be implemented or who will be accountable,” says Infrastructure NZ CEO Paul Blair.

    “The Tony Randerson-led Review Panel has recommended replacing the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) with two new pieces of legislation, a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act.

    “The Natural and Built Environments Act would strengthen the current system by not only seeking to protect the environment, but improve it.

    “The Strategic Planning Act would give statutory weight to strategic spatial plans and, critically, force reconciliation and alignment across central and local government to ensure implementation.

    “Ultimately, we’ll see something closer to 14 integrated resource management and strategic plans instead of the 100 plus we currently have.

    “What is really positive about this proposal is that it will move New Zealand away from the negative and short-sighted ‘effects-based’ planning approach which has dominated the last 30 years and which has seen severe deterioration in housing affordability, infrastructure and environmental performance.

    “We’ll again focus on outcomes and the value created from planning and investment, not just the costs. 

    “However, a question remains as to how strategic spatial plans will be implemented.

    “For plans to be implemented successfully, the organisations overseeing those plans must want them to succeed. The only way to do that is to ensure local councils and other institutions receive a portion of the value they create.

    “What is the revenue stream available to councils which will enable them to invest in long term growth infrastructure ahead of the businesses and homes which will eventually pay rates? What reward will councils receive from investment decisions which lead to stronger economies, communities and environments?

    “When considered in parallel with the COVID response and water reform programme, the Panel’s recommendations provide the opportunity for central government to formalise its investment relationship with local government.

    “If central and local government can agree the resourcing central government will commit to spatial plans and councils can agree to support those plans with local services, then we will have an accountable framework for funding and implementation.

    “The problem is that signing 78 separate agreements with each local authority for 14 or so regional strategic spatial plans is not going to be efficient nor feasible. 

    “Responsibility for development, funding and delivery of strategic spatial plans needs to be vested in 14 or so strengthened regional authorities to leverage scale, capability and ensure accountability.

    “Local democratic decision making and identity needs to be the focus of truly local councils who can effectively represent their individual communities of interest.

    “Infrastructure New Zealand has set out a pathway to achieving strengthened local representation, decision making and delivery in its Building Regions report, accessible here.

    “The next Government should provide financial incentives for local councils to collaborate, with a view to concentrating major planning and investment decisions at a regional level where scale and capability can be leveraged and focusing local councils on local needs, democratic decision making and identity,” said Blair.

    A copy of the Resource Management Review Panel’s report can be found here.

    The Review Panel process was catalysed by the Resource Reform New Zealand group, consisting of Property Council New Zealand, Environmental Defence Society, Employers and Manufacturers, Business New Zealand and Infrastructure New Zealand.

    ENDS

    For further information and comment contact Paul Blair on 021 902 436 


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