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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  • 08 Mar 2019 3:47 PM | Anonymous
    CEO Stephen Selwood discusses the Roads vs Public Transport debate. Read the article here.
  • 08 Mar 2019 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Given the widely publicised capacity constraints in the infrastructure sector, it is no surprise that a shortage of skills tops the list of the most critical challenges facing the industry. To address this challenge and attract a workforce fit for the future, ‘the infrastructure industry needs to be seen as a welcoming place that is diverse and inclusive, valuing wellbeing, innovation and career progression’, says Stephen Selwood, CEO Infrastructure NZ.

    ‘On International Womens’ Day, Infrastructure NZ is proud to acknowledge the large number of our member organisations leading the way in making their businesses welcoming, diverse and inclusive’ says Selwood. 

    Selwood gives specifc recognition to the New Zealand Defence Force, Winners of the DiversityWorks Supreme Award for their Operation Respect programme, for creating a safe work culture for all staff.  Fletcher Building, also a category winner, was awarded for their innovative solution for sourcing and selecting young employees to manage labour shortages, and give NZ youth a chance at a career.

    ‘Other Infrastructure NZ members such as Transdev, Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, CPB Contractors, Westpac, Aecom, ANZ, GHD, HSBC, KPMG, KiwiRail, Spark, Transpower and Vector were also highly commended in the DiversityWorks Awards for their proactivity in driving inclusive cultures throughout their organisations’, notes Selwood. 

    ‘We are delighted to see the leadership and commitment to future proofing the industry being demonstrated by our members.

    ‘By embracing diversity in its widest sense – recognising that differences in gender, ethnicity, age and providing opportunities for all regardless of difference or disability – is not just about providing equal opportunities for all, it is vital to addressing the skills and capability gap across the sector, and understanding the needs of the people that we serve.

    Infrastructure NZ itself has been working hard to increase the gender diversity of the industry through the establishment of the Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN) which now has 1300 members, spread across 7 chapters nationwide. Sponsored by Citycare, Beca and Kensington Swan, WIN aims to increase the visibility of women in the infrastructure sector, grow the number of women in leadership roles and support those women already working in the sector. A recent survey of women in the infrastructure industry shows a high level of support for the WIN Network and chapters across the country.

    Additionally, in the same survey, Infrastructure NZ was encouraged to find that

    • 82% of organisations had goals to increase the representation of women
    • 45% of organisations actively promoted flexible working arrangements, and another 36% accept flexible working arrangements
    • 42% of organisations had undertaken some initiatives to address pay parity
    • 17% of respondents felt that there were excellent opportunities for career growth and progression in the infrastructure industry, 39% good opportunities and 39% moderate opportunities.

    ‘But, despite these successes, there is more work to do and we cannot remain complacent’, says Selwood.

    In the same survey, women of the infrastructure industry identified key barriers to progressing in the sector including; the male dominated industry, unconscious bias, few role models and a macho company culture.

    Respondents felt that the best ways for overcoming these barriers included: changes to policies, the establishment of Womens’ networks, mentoring, providing role models and weeding out unconscious bias.

    As a member of DiversityWorks, Infrastructure NZ is a strong advocate of member organisations developing diverse and inclusive workplaces by publicising clear targets and metrics on diversity, prioritising action and reporting externally to stakeholders. 

    ‘We want the infrastructure sector to be the industry of choice’, says Selwood ‘and the home of the best and brightest minds.’

    ENDS

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


  • 22 Feb 2019 3:57 PM | Anonymous

    At the current rate of women gaining parity with men in the workplace, it will take 278 years before full equality is reached.

    Read the article here.

  • 20 Feb 2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “The announcement that the Government will establish the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – to perform strategy and procurement functions and vest it with sufficient independence to have mana and influence is very strongly welcomed by the infrastructure industry,” says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.

    “The Commission will develop a broad consensus on long-term strategy, enable coordination of infrastructure planning and provide advice and best practice support to infrastructure initiatives.

    “That it will be an Autonomous Crown Entity and not a department of government is especially pleasing. Independence is vital to ensuring the Commission can form its own views on infrastructure matters and build political and public consensus on New Zealand’s infrastructure needs and investment priorities.

    “New Zealand has a track record of underinvestment, particularly in transport, water and social infrastructure.

    “Failures in planning, funding and delivering services in a timely way have led to congestion in our growing cities, unaffordable houses, water shortages, boil water notices, polluted water bodies, leaky schools and hospitals and weak resilience to climate change and natural hazards.

    “The Commission will lead thinking on these and other important public policy issues to help identify and coordinate solutions. It will provide transparency of the infrastructure pipeline and promote integration of infrastructure and development.

    “It will also assist in project delivery. We often take for granted how difficult it is to plan, fund, purchase and deliver a multi-billion project consisting of multiple contracts over many years in a way which produces a single, coherent and effective service.

    “Specialists at the Infrastructure Commission will provide councils, DHBs and other public agencies with the support and advice needed to engage the market, manage transparent and competitive tender processes and deliver best value solutions.

    “This is a fundamental and much needed change to the piecemeal way we have traditionally approached infrastructure analysis, investment and delivery in New Zealand.

    “Poor, changeable and unpredictable project sequencing and procurement is destabilising the industry. The result is underutilisation of highly skilled staff and the loss of critical skills overseas – the same skills desperately needed to address New Zealand’s agreed infrastructure backlog.

    “The Infrastructure Commission will not – and should not – be able to prevent changes in policy, but, by interfacing with the market and major clients, it will be able to influence policy through an understanding of broad sector needs and issues.

    “We are very pleased that a comprehensive solution is now being put in place,” Selwood says.

    ENDS

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


  • 11 Feb 2019 7:00 PM | Anonymous

    Read the article and listen to Stephen's interview here.

  • 11 Feb 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The roading sector fears lay-offs and a downturn in major contracts, as big-budget projects inherited from the previous government wind up. 

    Read the article here.

  • 31 Jan 2019 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    See level rise is putting billions of dollars of NZ council infrastructure at risk - so a new report put out by LGNZ says.

    Listen to Stephen's interview here.

  • 28 Jan 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    With fundamental reform of our waste, drinking, and storm water on the cards - who will pay the billions and is it time for an aggregation of suppliers? Kathryn Ryan discusses with Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta, Stephen Selwood of Infrastructure New Zealand and Karyn Sinclair Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

    Listen to the interview here.

  • 26 Nov 2018 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “The new Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will help the Government cut through red-tape to deliver urban regeneration in our largest cities, but to deliver affordable housing the Government must now turn its attention to greenfield development and wider policy reform,” says Stephen Selwood Chief Executive of Infrastructure New Zealand.

    “On Saturday, the Government announced that it will consolidate Housing New Zealand, HLC and Kiwibuild into a new fit-for-purpose urban development authority with powers to zone and deliver new communities.

    “This initiative is desperately required to cut through an existing local government, planning and funding system which is no longer fit for purpose.

    “The Resource Management Act’s effects-based approach to planning and consenting infrastructure and development has not only failed the environment but tipped the balance of decision making too far in favour of existing land uses and prevented New Zealanders from access to housing.

    “Councils are restricted by the laws in which they work and by constraints on funding and borrowing. Their world view also reflects the boundaries of their territory and responsibilities.

    “HUDA will be in a better position to manage wider and more complex national challenges around growth management, homelessness and cumulative environmental impacts, to name but a few.

    “Like the Government’s new infrastructure body, HUDA will have the capacity to integrate across agencies to ensure we deliver not just individual services, but communities and public outcomes.

    “Minister Twyford has described HUDA as being a market facing agency. This is fundamental as commercial expertise in urban development and the ability to work with private land owners, developers and infrastructure providers will be key to success.

    “HUDA will be critical to light rail’s success in Auckland and Wellington. Without rapid intensification along light rail corridors, demand for services will be insufficient to justify investment.

    “However, HUDA will not be able to deliver a functional housing market on its own.

    “To deliver housing that is affordable on New Zealand wages and salaries, policies like Auckland’s Rural Urban Boundary must be changed to enable new development at scale in greenfield locations.

    “Rural land prices need to be leveraged to pay for infrastructure while delivering homes under $400,000, not captured by a dysfunctional approach to zoning and growth management which sees new sections alone cost more than this.

    “The Government’s announcement two weeks ago of the Milldale development enables new infrastructure to be funded and financed away from councils, thereby relieving existing residents from concerns that they are subsidising growth.

    “The next logical step is for the Government to work with Councils and the private sector to acquire greenfield land at scale in suitable locations, rezone it for development, deliver the infrastructure and capture the value uplift to deliver affordable houses.

    “Major developers with an eye on building new homes at scale and pace to crack the housing crisis will now be keenly awaiting access to competitive land at prices New Zealanders can afford, consistent with the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda.

    “With both brownfield and greenfield policy reform effected, our cities will be able to grow fairly, affordably and sustainably and the Government can in 2019 turn its attention to the ultimate solution to the problem – reforming New Zealand’s unworkable local government, infrastructure funding and planning system,” Selwood says.


    ENDS

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

  • 20 Nov 2018 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA RELEASE

    “Long overdue reform of the water sector has created the opportunity for a first principles discussion of what local government can and should do and with what resources, so it is very pleasing to see the Government kick-starting this process,” says Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Stephen Selwood.

    “Operating infrastructure networks is a technical activity demanding flexible use of capital and strong asset management capability. When networks cut across political, environmental or regulatory boundaries challenges are compounded. This is not the comparative strength of local government.

    “Under the current model we have allowed council financing constraints to undermine investment in clean water, political constraints to underfund growth services and technical constraints to under-deliver capital work programmes.

    “This is not a good outcome and the Government’s announcement that it will start the conversation with councils about what local government is really for should be fully endorsed across the political spectrum.

    “We need local government representing the needs and views of people and communities, something larger government bodies and corporations cannot do, and we need regional government to lead economic development and spatial planning.

    “Councils need the right tools which incentivise and enable them to act in the best interests of constituents, regions and wider New Zealand.

    “With Minister Parker’s recent announcement that discussion of planning statutes will begin in 2019, now is just the time to consider all functions of local government – city and regional planning, regulation, infrastructure and community needs.

    “What everyone can agree on is that we need local government. This conversation provides the opportunity to repurpose its role to improving community wellbeing and focusing on people rather than operating pipes in the ground,” Selwood says.

    ENDS

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

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