Improving NZ’s infrastructure


CCNZ proposes key changes to NZ's infrastructure Bill released by the NZ Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga was established to ensure that New Zealand gets quality infrastructure investment needed to improve the country’s long-term performance and social well-being.

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This new independent body will help coordinate and plan New Zealand’s infrastructure and make the most of what is already in place. While an independent body is likely to lead to better and stronger planning, Civil Contractors New Zealand says that the Bill needs a few key changes.

The national representative body of contractors have been strong supporters
of the Commission since the Government’s proposal earlier this year.

However, Peter Silcock, chief executive CCNZ, says, "While the intention of the New Zealand Infrastructure/Te Waihanga Bill is sound, the wording is unclear.

"The general policy statement sets expectations around the commission’s performance of tasks. But the power to perform some of those functions is not included in the Bill."

CCNZ says that while they support the independence of the Commission, the development of a 30-year infrastructure strategy and priorities, and the power of the Commission to obtain information, they would like a few key changes to be made to the Bill, such as:

  • For Local Government and Council Controlled Organisations (and their infrastructure and infrastructure projects) to be specifically covered in the Bill, including the Commission’s power to obtain information from these organisations.
  • An addition to Subpart 3—a requirement for the Commission to publish every two years a report on the progress being made on the agreed elements of the strategy.
  • Removal of the responsibility for ‘developing broad public agreement’ from the Commission’s functions
  • Specific mention of the infrastructure pipeline in the Bill in Subpart 2 Section 10(e).

CCNZ says their submission recommends changes they feel will enhance the Commission’s ability to deliver on the goal of improving the well-being of New Zealand through efficient development of quality infrastructure.

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