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
“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
“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
“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
“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.
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
“We are very pleased that a
comprehensive solution is now being put in place,” Selwood says.
For further information and comment contact
Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209