The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, welcomes the Budget’s ongoing commitment to infrastructure through a $4 billion boost to the capital allowance. This will support investment in roads, public transport, schools, health, housing, and climate change mitigation.
"New Zealand is facing many long-term infrastructure challenges, including responding to demographic and technological change, addressing climate change, catching up on housing supply, and upgrading run-down water infrastructure."
"But it’s not all about building new things. We need to be thinking about how we make smarter and better decisions about the existing infrastructure we have. Most of the infrastructure we will be using in 30 years’ time is already around us."
"The infrastructure sector is capacity-constrained, and the construction sector is already dealing with a significant workload and skills shortage. There are 2400 projects in the infrastructure pipeline worth $60 billion so there’s a lot of work to do," says Chief Executive Ross Copland.
"A stable and certain funding environment enables the infrastructure sector to scale up to meet our long-term infrastructure challenges, but we all need to be realistic about how fast we can build and deliver. Te Waihanga will continue to advise the Government to address these challenges and work with the sector to build up delivery capability."
Going forward, sound planning and good investment decision-making are needed to ensure that we are set up for success.
"We know that there are more challenges to address. The Government has signalled that it is expecting to respond to the Climate Commission report through the 2022 and 2023 Budgets. We would expect infrastructure to play a role in that response."
Te Waihanga released a consultation document last week that set a proposed direction for the 30-year Infrastructure Strategy.
"We’ve identified the scale of the infrastructure challenge New Zealand is facing in the consultation document for our 30-year Strategy. We invite New Zealanders to have their say on how we can build a better future."
Public consultation on the Infrastructure Consultation document He Tūāpapa ki te Ora, Infrastructure for a Better Future runs from 12 May to 2 July 2021. Submissions can be made here.