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 Mar 2018 11:45 AM | Anonymous


    “Cancellation of major projects, delays in new projects coming to market and uncertainty about future transport funding are forcing the contracting sector to release skilled staff just at the point at which the Government wants to increase the speed and scale of construction,” says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.

    “It is natural for infrastructure priorities to change with new leadership, but the scale of change in recent months combined with high uncertainty over future transport funding is having a particularly heavy effect on a sector under pressure from rising input costs.

    “The Government’s desire to utilise private capital to facilitate infrastructure delivery is commendable, as are commitments to increase Crown capital investment from $32b to $42b over the next four years, but it’s the lack of “shovel-ready” projects which is the problem.

    “Near-term cancellation of projects which the sector had anticipated getting underway shortly include the consented East-West Link, the Tauranga Northern Corridor, the Petone to Granada Link road and SH1 Cambridge to Piarere.

    “Delays to the CRL and north-western busway as well as uncertainty for critical growth projects like the Mill Rd corridor in Auckland and safety projects like Otaki to Levin north of Wellington is compounding the issue.  

    “All up, a conservative figure of the total investment pushed out of the next four to five-year period is over $2 billion. That’s in the order of $400 million per annum taken out of the contracting sector.

    “The industry cannot absorb that level of cost without rationalising staff and equipment – the same staff and equipment which we know are urgently needed today to deliver infrastructure for housing.

    “While it is not the Government’s job to keep the construction industry busy, a committed pipeline of work is fundamental to the productivity of the sector, thereby delivering value for tax-payers.

    “It is vital that near-term gaps in the project pipeline are not allowed to undermine the long term health and capacity of the construction sector.

    “Australian investment in transport is set to double in the next couple of years. The big Aussie contractors will absorb all the available skills we have spent a decade building up, risking a repeat of the 2000s from which we’re still recovering.

    “There are projects with consents ready to go, including Mill Rd and Penlink. These projects have very positive economic benefits and unlock land for housing. We know they are going to be delivered, they must be signed off.

    “These are urgent issues and if left unattended will materially impact our ability to deliver infrastructure and home construction programmes,” Selwood says.


    For further information and comment contact Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209

  • 16 Feb 2018 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    Read the article and listen to Stephen's interview here

  • 21 Dec 2017 2:52 PM | Anonymous


    "Waipa District Council’s rejection of a shared water services partnership with neighbouring Hamilton City demonstrates, once again, the need for government intervention in the funding, responsibilities and structure of domestic governance," says Stephen Selwood Chief Executive of Infrastructure New Zealand.

    "No fewer than four independent expert analyses of water services in the Waikato have agreed that it is in the best interests of residents of Waipa District to combine their wastewater, water supply and stormwater services with Hamilton.

    "Yet at the political level, these clear, demonstrable and agreed benefits were insufficient to persuade the majority of Waipa councillors to agree to partner with their neighbours in the provision of water services.

    "Despite the example set by Wellington Water, which has demonstrated significant benefits resulting from a jointly owned management company for its five council owners in the Wellington region, this latest Waipa decision puts another nail in the coffin for shared service arrangements between councils.

    "The case for change in water service delivery at a national level was clearly demonstrated in Havelock North when 5000 people got sick from drinking contaminated water. The subsequent inquiry identified “widespread systemic failure among water suppliers to meet the high standards required for the supply of safe drinking water to the public”.

    "Yet, almost all evidence to date, including rejection of Local Government Commission proposals for consolidation in Northland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa, shows that significant change will not come from within the local government sector, no matter how beneficial.

    "Local Government New Zealand's Reputation Index gives local government leadership, performance and communication a score of 28/100.

    "Central government is having to constantly put workarounds in place to fix tourism infrastructure funding or growth investment financing. Auckland and other growth cities are 70,000 homes short of the number required for their populations, but they are not being built because there are not enough pipes and roads in the ground.

    "Major change is needed at a national, local and regional level.

    "Nation-wide functions should not be left to local government, including overall responsibility for environmental management and meeting the basic needs of New Zealanders for food, healthy water and shelter.

    "On the other hand the ability of local communities to build the identity and sense of community in their local areas must be strengthened.

    "And in between, there are decisions which need to be made which affect entire cities and their surrounding areas, including water, transport and economic development. These are regional in nature and require empowered regional decision making.

    "Effective institutions with the resources and mandate to deliver services at the level at which they impact communities are required.

    "If the new government is not prepared to lead fundamental reform itself, then a first principles review by an independent and appropriately resourced commission is the least it could do to identify solutions to longstanding deficiencies in New Zealand’s planning, funding and governance system," Selwood says.


    For further information and comment contact Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209

  • 15 Dec 2017 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    Read Stephen Selwood's article for the NZ Herald here.

  • 15 Dec 2017 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Read Stephen Selwood's article for the NZ Herald here.

  • 12 Dec 2017 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    Listen to Stephen Selwood discuss current water issues from 11:46 here and the end of the interview here.

  • 12 Dec 2017 1:54 PM | Anonymous

    Watch Stephen Selwood discuss water supply management with One News here

  • 06 Dec 2017 4:14 PM | Anonymous


    "The Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry’s second report out today demonstrates the immediate need to establish a small number of large dedicated water service providers, funded by metered water and overseen by a competent regulator," says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.

    "The Inquiry found a serious lack of compliance with drinking water standards across New Zealand, resulting in over 700,000 New Zealanders being exposed to unsafe drinking water.

    "Failures at all levels, from the legislation to governance and weak institutional capability, have contributed to a drinking water system which is dangerous, inefficient and unacceptable.

    "Total reform of the water sector is required and the Inquiry’s recommendations should be implemented in full.

    "Water suppliers across New Zealand are too small, under-resourced and conflicted in their provision of water services. Water regulation has been woefully weak, allowing institutional acceptance of service failure.

    "While this inquiry looked specifically at drinking water, the issues are systemic across the sector including waste and stormwater services.

    "A small number of benchmarked water service providers, delivering both water supply, waste and stormwater services should be established.

    "Larger entities will generate the economies of scale needed to achieve drinking water and environmental standards which are currently being ignored, often because of the cost impact to councils.

    "Funding of acceptable water services should be provided by metering and charging for drinking and wastewater use. Metering typically results in a 15 percent water demand reduction over the long term, with lower water consumption reducing the need for expensive new water sources, treatment and distribution networks.

    "The Ministry of Health needs to urgently implement the Inquiry’s short-term recommendations and an independent water regulator must be established as the first step towards major reform of water service governance and delivery in New Zealand.

    "It is encouraging to see the Government is moving quickly in response to the Inquiry’s hard-hitting findings.

    "It is the duty of every Government to protect the health and welfare of its people and the Inquiry’s sobering report demonstrates a severe failure of governance has been allowed to emerge in the provision of one of the most essential public services," Selwood says.


    For further information and comment contact Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209

  • 28 Nov 2017 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Read Stephen Selwood's article for the NZ Herald here.

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