Beca-sponsored poll of infrastructure leaders at the recent Infrastructure
New Zealand Building Nations Symposium indicates confidence is growing that New
Zealand can meet its infrastructure challenges, but suggests there needs
to be greater detail shared with industry and the community around plans to
address Auckland’s infrastructure needs. Respondents also believe that there
needs to be greater urgency from all parties to implement those plans.
Over 700 industry
leaders attended the Symposium and the Beca poll enabled delegates to provide
real-time feedback on the key issues on the agenda.
respondents felt New Zealand’s infrastructure situation will improve over the
next five years.
Infrastructure NZ CEO
Stephen Selwood said, “This high level of confidence reflects the Government’s
announcement shortly before the poll that it will move forward with an
independent infrastructure entity. The infrastructure body initiative was supported
by almost 90 per cent of respondents. Concerns over weak procurement capability
across the sector and uncertainty over the long term capital programme make the
establishment of this new entity a high priority.
signals that it will reform the water sector are also assisting industry
confidence. Less than 5 per cent of polled respondents felt the water sector
should remain in its current state, with almost four out of five infrastructure
leaders supporting consolidation of water supply and wastewater into one or
several large dedicated providers.
“However, there remains
significant sector concern over the ability of Auckland to meet the region’s
two big challenges: housing and congestion.”
respondents felt Auckland could not meet its transport and housing
affordability needs under the current plan and almost four out of five felt
that the $28 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Programme (ATAP) would not be
sufficient to meet growth.
Rupert Hodson, Beca’s
Northern Regional Manager, said, “Investment in light rail is a key component
of ATAP and the results indicate that industry may need further information and
engagement around the objectives and outcomes that light rail seeks to
deliver. Light rail can be immensely valuable in supporting urban
regeneration and intensification outcomes and accelerating transport mode shift
through these corridors, which can deliver long term improvements in
congestion, housing supply and affordability for Auckland.”
Around 90 per cent of respondents
thought light rail would have some degree of impact on improving congestion,
but around half also thought it will make housing less affordable along the
the top three areas to address congestion as public transport investment, road
pricing and intelligent transport systems.
Delegates agreed that
the existing Metropolitan Urban Limit in Auckland has largely failed to promote
a quality, compact, accessible city, with 81% believing that it has had a zero
to negative impact on congestion in the city, and 89% citing a zero to negative
impact on housing affordability.
“All in all, the
polling suggests some positive changes are being made which gives confidence to
the infrastructure industry that we can get on top of the big issues
nationally, but further efforts to address Auckland’s transport and housing
needs are required,” added Hodson.
The full Beca polling
results can be viewed here.
For further information and comment contact Stephen
Selwood on 021 791 209 and Rupert Hodson on 027 292 0796