Many traditional infrastructure projects are reliant on massive quantities of physical resources for their construction. Given their critical role in the cost and ability to undertake infrastructure projects, the Infrastructure Commission undertook this study into infrastructure resources. This study focusses on four key resources: aggregate, cement/concrete, steel, and timber.
The Study’s focus has been on testing if there are any issues with:
- Access (whether there are any impediments to gaining access to supply)
- Price (whether there is certainty that the price estimated will be the actual price further down a project and that price itself is not creating a barrier)
- Quality (whether materials of the necessary quality will be available, and if the quality can be assured)
The study has highlighted five key messages:
- Aggregates and timber struggle to increase supply to match spikes in demand.
- Addressing the carbon impact of high emitting materials like cement and steel will have a major impact on the use of these materials in construction projects.
- New Zealand can do more to better manage its endowment of aggregate.
- Vertical integration warrants deeper investigation.
- Transportation costs and resource consents are major bottlenecks for the supply of many physical resources.