Te Waihanga to look at infrastructure’s role in improving wellbeing

New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga is looking at the role infrastructure can have in improving New Zealander’s wellbeing in a paper released today.

The paper, “Infrastructure under one roof”, is part of Te Waihanga’s work on a 30-year infrastructure strategy to be presented to the Minister for Infrastructure in September 2021.

Chief Executive Ross Copland says Te Waihanga will look beyond the physical pipes, roads and wires to the services provided by the infrastructure that New Zealand needs to thrive. 

“This paper sets out the lens through which we look at infrastructure strategy. Starting with the services that we need from our infrastructure provides focus on the wellbeing outcomes we are trying to achieve, whether it’s the ability to get to work in a reasonable time, have affordable heating for our homes or run a successful online business.

It also recognises that no one part of our infrastructure works by itself: our roads carry our pipes and powerlines and they connect us to social infrastructure like schools. It’s a system, and our job will be to identify the ways we can extract the most value from the system over the next thirty years to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

“This will mean looking at the factors that are relevant to identifying, designing, funding, building and operating the infrastructure we need. Examples include the public sector settings like regulations, measurement and sustainable use of our capital stocks, as well as the Investment Management System we use to determine what infrastructure to invest in – these are addressed within the paper.

“Taking a systems approach will also mean going beyond a focus on specific sectors, but as a first step we are building our evidence with a close look at the state of play in six key areas: telecommunications, energy, water, waste, transport and social infrastructure. Over the coming months we’ll be releasing our state of play reports on each of these sectors.

“We invite feedback on ‘Infrastructure under one roof’, and on the State of Play reports as they are released. This is your Infrastructure Strategy New Zealand, so it’s essential that we hear your views.”