Te Waihanga shaping up to deliver

The Upper North Island supply chain (UNISC), the future of ports and opportunities for public-private partnerships are among focus areas for the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga as it gets its 30-year strategy underway.

Speaking at the Urban Futures conference in Auckland today, Te Waihanga board chair, Dr Alan Bollard says the Commission will be releasing a series of special topics reports during 2020 including responding to requests for advice from Government as set out in its Letter of Expectations. 

“We will be doing some deep dives into these topics, which are among a range of matters which will help inform our thinking on New Zealand’s infrastructure priorities for the next 30 years.” 

The port sector and future of the UNISC will be considered together, with Te Waihangaproviding an independent perspective on the UNISC proposal and identifying any system wide issues. Te Waihangawill review the ports sector more broadly. Te Waihanga is also the guardian of the Public Private Partnership model.

“Work is well underway on a review of the PPP model after a decade of experience,” says Dr Bollard. 

Te Waihanga was set up last September and is required to put a widely agreed 30-year strategy to government by late 2021. It is independent, and close stakeholder engagement is important. Dr Bollard says work has begun on the strategy. 

“Our strategy will be strongly evidence based. Right now we’re seeking a clear view of what’s been widely termed New Zealand’s infrastructure “deficit”. We want to collaborate with stakeholders, to shine a light on the gaps and drive improved outcomes. With this work program we expect to help work towards a better joined-up infrastructure system for NZ, to help us grow and improve living standards.”  

As well as developing the 30-year infrastructure strategy, Te Waihanga will provide a schedule of special topic reports to inform the industry throughout 2020. It also produces a quarterly infrastructure pipeline, intended to provide visibility of projects coming to market and facilitate co-ordination between procuring entities.