Industry leaders endorse new Infrastructure Commission and increased investment in rail

A Beca sponsored poll of industry leaders at the 14th annual Infrastructure New Zealand Building Nations Symposium last week tested the mood of the room on a range of infrastructure priorities.

Results highlighted that rail is crucial to New Zealand’s economy and wellbeing, and that the industry is strongly in favour of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga.

Held from 21 to 23 August 2019 in Rotorua, this year’s symposium focused on New Zealand’s regions and saw over 700 senior infrastructure professionals share ideas and advance best practice in national infrastructure development.

The conference aims to discuss what must be done to ensure New Zealand’s infrastructure is not just fit-for-purpose, but supports sustained improvement in quality of life for all New Zealanders.

Building Nations is also a key forum for Ministers and public officials to announce major infrastructure policy directions, such as the announcement by Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones of the inaugural board for Te Waihanga.

Poll results indicate the sector sees considerable value in city or regional deals, and greater regional government decision making. There was also strong support for Infrastructure New Zealand's proposal for reform of governance planning and funding.

The polling also showed that:

  • Delegates in the ‘Connecting Regions’ stream recognised the need for more funding for rail from the National Land Transport Fund, general taxes and land development.
  • The majority of water delegates believe the most effective pathway to improved water service outcomes would be the establishment of a nationally regulated model, with water asset owners that are not local authorities.
  • The polling also shows a lack of confidence among delegates that the Government could impact on the provision of affordable housing. We note however that further information on Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, the Government’s new housing initiative, is yet to be released.

Click on the image below for the polling results. 

See also August 2019