Strategy development

Te Waihanga is developing a 30-year infrastructure strategy, which will be presented as a draft to the Minister for Infrastructure in September 2021. The final strategy will be tabled in Parliament by early 2022.

This strategy will provide decision makers with a basis for bold reform and policy change, informed by independent, evidence-based analysis.   

The strategy will: 

  • Assess the overall fitness for purpose of New Zealand’s infrastructure system
  • Determine how well the current system is working 
  • Identify priorities 
  • Identify barriers to good outcomes 
  • Identify the root cause of systemic issues 
  • Determine how best to meet future community expectations 
  • Use foresight planning to consider a range of future possibilities. 

Te Waihanga will be working with central and local government, the general public, the private sector, iwi and other stakeholders to develop the strategy. This will help us build consensus on a long-term vision for infrastructure and the outcomes that New Zealand wants to achieve. The strategy will replace the government’s current 30-year plan(external link).

The plan will take long-term trends into account, such as:

  • Climate change
  • New technologies
  • Demographic change.

It will focus on strategic issues for infrastructure, rather than individual projects.

How we will engage – collaboration, co-design, consensus 

For the first time, New Zealanders get to have a say about the infrastructure they want in the future and the sort of life they wish to lead. This strategy will be different from previous ones because Te Waihanga is an autonomous crown entity, providing independent advice.  

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission / Te Waihanga Act 2019 requires the Commission to develop a strategy that has “broad agreement” or consensus. This will be vital to its success. It will be far harder for any Infrastructure Minister to reject a strategy that has been co-designed in a collaborative fashion. We encourage all New Zealanders to engage with us throughout the development of the strategy.  

Local government reference group

We have established the local government reference groups to guide us in our work. Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) will provide insights on infrastructure systems and settings at a regional, spatial and catchment level. This group will also provide checks, balance and support as the strategy is developed. 

Te Ao Māori Testing Panel

Our te ao Māori Testing Panel members bring a deep understanding of Māori views and experiences of infrastructure. The panel will provide support in evaluating our ‘evidence’ with a te ao Māori lens and providing a deeper understanding of Māori views and experiences with infrastructure. 

Deb Te Kawa (Ko te whānau a Hineauta, me ono te whānau a Pokai nga hapu) is the lead consultant at DTK and Associates. She has worked for numerous ministers as a private secretary and advisor. She is also a trained and experienced Board and Company Secretary. In 2013 Deb was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize in Public Management for post-graduate work examining contemporary governance and integrity issues in the New Zealand public sector. Deb is also a PhD student, examining free and frank advice. She is also on the board of the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand.

Kane joined Waka Kotahi following three years with Wellington City Council where he most recently held the Director of Strategy and Governance position. Kane has previously been a partner at law firm Meredith Connell and served as a Crown Prosecutor.

Alyce (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) is in her final year as an engineering student at the University of Canterbury and also hosts the Māori in Engineering podcast. You can listen to Alyce interview fellow Panel member Troy Brockbank.

Troy (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Auckland and 14 years of professional engineering experience working in the water sector across consultancies, civil contractors and suppliers. Troy is currently Pou Ārahi Māori, Māori Advisory Lead (Principal) at Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd. He is also a Board member of Taumata Arowai and Water NZ.

Matthew (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Tama) is a Rutherford Discovery Fellow, co-Director of Te Au Rangahau and an Associate Professor in the School of Economics and Finance at Massey University. He has an academic background in health and population economics and researchers broadly as an applied economist and social scientist. His current research projects include: Māori economics & mixed-methods, social capital and wellbeing research, effective health systems and service delivery, Health Economics, population, labour and regional economics.

The development process 

The development process involves building an evidence base and testing it. After identifying gaps and themes, we will develop strategic recommendations and test them. This will occur against a background of future horizon scanning, using a foresight programme to identify a range of possible futures.

State of Plays

We're looking at the state of play in the telecommunications, energy, waste and resource recovery, water, transport and social infrastructure sectors.

The State of Play reports will be released at the end of 2020 and early 2021 and describe the current state of the sectors, the issues they face as well as those they need to prepare for.

The reports are based on our own research, a survey of infrastructure owners as well as conversations with people within the sector.

The information gathered through the State of Play reports will inform a draft 30-year infrastructure strategy to be released for consultation in mid-2021. Following consultation, the strategy will be presented to Minister for Infrastructure by September 2021.

Read the State of Play reports

Infrastructure Asset Owners Survey

Te Waihanga commissioned a survey of infrastructure asset owners from across sectors that included local and central government, health, transport and energy. This asked asset owners how well their infrastructure was performing in meeting the wellbeing needs of New Zealanders, and gathered information on the challenges they faced as well as opportunities. Some of the key themes identified included funding and financing challenges, asset management and procurement, natural hazards and climate change, and the challenges of moving to a low emissions economy.

We’re using the information we gathered through this survey to develop our 30-year Infrastructure Strategy.

How you can engage with us 

Te Waihanga invites participation from a broad range of stakeholders. We’ll continue to check back throughout the development of the strategy to ensure we’ve understood your points of view. All feedback is valuable.

Find out about how to get involved in having your say on New Zealand's first 30-year infrastructure strategy, including alternative engagement options and translated alternatives.

Have your say