Infrastructure New Zealand announces strong line up of speakers ahead of Building Nations 2019

07 Aug 2019 9:58 AM | Anonymous


Infrastructure New Zealand has announced a strong line up of local and international speakers ahead of this year’s Building Nations Symposium. Underway at Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre from August 21-23, Building Nations 2019 will focus on Building Regions, and how we can make the right investment and policy decisions to position our regions for growth.

The organisation is bringing several high-profile speakers from the UK and Australia to speak at the Symposium, who will present learnings that New Zealand may be able to apply to resolve our own infrastructure challenges.

Sir Howard Bernstein, Former CEO of Manchester City Council will speak on his experiences of City Deals in Manchester, and how New Zealand might use the Provincial Growth Fund to help our regions thrive.

Matt Collins of the Cities Transformation Taskforce, Queensland Treasury will set out the Australian approach to regional development through a case study on the South East Queensland City Deal.

Professor Andrew McNaughton, Strategic Advisor for HS2 will present learnings from the High Speed Rail 2 Project between Birmingham and London and the possibilities regional rail could unlock for New Zealand. 

Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland will discuss the benefits of water regulation and how this could lift the performance of New Zealand’s own water sector.

Hearing these international experts will assist New Zealand’s infrastructure leaders to plan, fund and shape our infrastructure investment, Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Stephen Selwood says “Many of the infrastructure challenges that New Zealand is currently facing – traffic congestion, poor performance in the water sector, declining regions - are similar to what is happening around the world. Our current planning and funding framework for infrastructure and regional development is not creating the outcomes we need. The Symposium enables us to learn what other nations are doing to help us resolve these challenges.”

Alongside these international speakers, Infrastructure New Zealand has announced an impressive list of local speakers for Building Regions who will set out the latest policy developments and market opportunities. Speakers include (among others):

  • Hon Steve Chadwick, Her Worship the Mayor of Rotorua
  • Hon Grant Robertson: Minister of Finance, Minister for Tourism
  • Hon Phil Twyford: Minister for Transport and Housing
  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Local Government
  • Sue Bidrose, CEO Dunedin City Council
  • Jim Boult, Mayor of Queenstown
  • Heather Shotter, CEO Palmerston North City Council
  • Amanda Moran, Ministry for the Environment
  • Jon Grayson, Deputy Secretary NZ Treasury
  • Peter Mersi, CEO, Ministry of Transport

The full programme can be accessed here.

Other key themes for this year’s Symposium include:

  • Local Government Funding
  • Delivering Affordable Housing at Scale
  • Water Sector Reform
  • Resource Management Reform
  • The Future of Local Government in New Zealand
  • Lifting the Capability of the Infrastructure Sector
  • Regional Rail Connectivity
  • Provincial Growth Fund

Building Nations is New Zealand’s premier infrastructure conference, attended by 800+ public and private sector infrastructure leaders and a key forum for announcing infrastructure policy and investment decisions. The theme of Building Nations 2019 is Building Regions: how New Zealand can position our regions for growth, fund the investment we need and tackle the challenges facing our housing, water and transport sectors.

Notes for the editor

  • Building Nations is New Zealand’s leading infrastructure event, managed by Infrastructure New Zealand.
  • Building Nations 2019 will be held at Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre from August 21 to 23.
  • Infrastructure New Zealand is New Zealand’s peak infrastructure body. The organisation’s core purpose is to advance best practice in the development of world class transport, energy, water, telecommunications and social infrastructure for all New Zealanders.
  • HS2 is a rapid rail system currently under construction that will link London and Birmingham to Manchester, the East Midlands and Leeds. It is Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

For more information about Building Nations click here.


If you have any queries about Building Nations, please contact:

Jessica Bell, Communications

Infrastructure New Zealand

0274 039945

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