There is plenty in the Draft New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy for the infrastructure sector to like, Infrastructure New Zealand General Manager Claire Edmondson says.
The 243-page draft strategy containing 67 recommendations to Government, local government and the infrastructure sector was released today by the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission | Te Waihanga.
“We need a strategy, and it’s good to have a 30-year plan out there. It sets out a vision, but also highlights challenges showing we need to improve our system for planning and building infrastructure, and also make better use of what we already have. This is a really good start,” Ms Edmondson says.
“Most of the 67 recommendations address known issues, and work on some is already underway, including resource management reform, emissions reduction and a national digital strategy.
“It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that we need to ensure the resource management system doesn’t unnecessarily increase project costs, efficiency and smarter ways of getting things done.
“We’ve been asking for reforms to the Resource Management Act and the recommendation to ensure that the Natural and Built Environments Act ‘gives effect’ to existing requirements for the Crown to deliver infrastructure is an added extra.
“The sector will be particularly thrilled at the recommendation of an independent Infrastructure Priority List to build consensus around key projects and initiatives that address significant long-term problems. This will enable the sector to ensure it has the appropriate resources and supply chain to compete for and deliver this work,” Ms Edmondson says.
“The sector will also be pleased with the recommendation for a national infrastructure skills plan to ensure we have the right people with the right skills to develop our infrastructure in the medium to long-term.
“These are the sorts of things that provide the certainty needed for the sector to get on with the job of making New Zealand a better place for us all. We just need the Government to take them on board and implement them in a timely way,” Ms Edmondson says.
Infrastructure New Zealand has been working with the Commission and held a series of workshops around the country earlier this year allowing members to provide direct input to the draft strategy.
The Commission is working towards tabling a final strategy in Parliament in early 2022.
Claire Edmondson at email@example.com or on 021 272 7879.