Building Nations conference highlights chief infrastructure sector concerns

November 19, 2021


New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit and how it will be funded and financed, climate change and the role of infrastructure to mitigate impacts, and attracting talent and retaining skills are the three chief issues of concern to members attending Infrastructure New Zealand’s annual Building Nations conference this week.

With a conference theme of “A Fork in the Road” highlighting the challenges ahead of the sector, Infrastructure New Zealand general manager Claire Edmondson said the poll, run several times during the event, clearly highlighted the issues of most concern to members.

“We look forward to continuing to work with members and to advocate on these and other important issues on the sector’s behalf as together we negotiate the fork in the road and the challenges ahead,” Ms Edmondson said.

This year’s Building Nations conference was held online for the first time due to Covid, with Infrastructure New Zealand making the call to move from a planned Wellington event to a virtual event when the Covid situation remained uncertain. The online event was extended over four days instead of the usual two and was delivered by a small team working separately in lockdown in Auckland.

“Infrastructure New Zealand is the thought leadership body for the sector, and not delivering our premier event for our members was never an option. As highlighted by the conference theme, our sector needs to do things differently to deliver good outcomes for New Zealanders, and we needed to do things differently to deliver this conference for our members and our sector,” Ms Edmondson said.

“With the new format, we also sought to really raise the bar on the content and speakers. Over the last four days we’ve heard from more than 100 speakers and panellists including the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, several cabinet ministers, opposition MPs, international and New Zealand experts. We think we’ve covered the big issues, the controversial and topical issues relevant to our sector now, as well as some still emerging.

“We were deliberately ambitious with our programme and the feedback we’ve received during the conference has been extremely positive. We’re particularly grateful for the support of premier sponsor ANZ, our other sponsors, panelists and facilitators, and the engagement of our members in contributing to such a successful event,” Ms Edmondson said.

Infrastructure New Zealand will hold Building Nations 2022 at the TSB Arena in Wellington on 22-23 November.

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