Transmission Gully open for business 

Wellington’s Transmission Gully motorway has officially opened to the public today. After substantial frustration and six missed opening dates, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries hosted the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the $1.25 billion project yesterday.

The opening follows Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency’s formal direction for the lead contractor, Wellington Gateway Partnership, to open the road. Critical quality assurance testing has been completed, but further tests are outstanding.

The new highway is set to carry 25,000 vehicles a day and bring significant productivity gains to the region. The Government has asked the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga to update its guidance on public-private Partnerships as to entrench lessons learnt from the delays to this project into our future infrastructure provision practices..


New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga recommends health infrastructure shake-up

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga recently released its review of the health infrastructure system and recommends significant changes to it.

The review draws on lessons from Health Infrastructure New South Wales, and the Victorian Health Building Authority. It proposes a revised governance model and operating structure for New Zealand’s Health Infrastructure Unit (HIU).

The Review comes at a time when our health sector is facing a raft of intersecting challenges including the pandemic response, significant skills shortages, an aging population, equity disparities, climate change, reform programme management and the rapid digitisation of healthcare services.

With an expected health infrastructure deficit of $20 billion ($14 billion on 2018 numbers) and most District Health Boards’ assets nearing the end of their useful life, investment is increasingly urgently needed.

The Commission’s recommendations cover asset management, capital planning, project delivery and the public hospital infrastructure deficit. It encourages a more significant focus on infrastructure and critical asset investments, including the establishment of a 10-year Capital Investment Plan, a multi-year funding model and the further progression of the National Asset Management Plan managed by the HIU.

The Review responds to the 2020 Health and Disability System Review and can be accessed here.


Water NZ releases National Performance Review

Water New Zealand has released its National Performance Review, providing a valuable contribution to the information base underlying water service delivery and infrastructure.

The report reflects the responses from 38 of the 64 water services providers, collectively covering 87% of the New Zealand population. The report is accessible here.


Central Interceptor one of many projects to feel the strain of Omicron

Watercare’s $1.2 billion Central Interceptor is one of many projects to pause as a result of Omicron-related worker absences.

Earlier this month Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, the project’s tunnel boring machine, was forced to shut down for the first time since boring began in July as almost all the two dozen tunnellers were off work.

Skills shortage pressures across the broader sector have only been worsened by Covid-related absenteeism, despite the Government’s critical worker exemption. Covid absenteeism is also worsening supply chain pressures, and already elevated building costs and extended lead-times are also challenging the sector.


Amazon Web Services contributes further to New Zealand’s digital infrastructure growth

Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to launch a local zone in New Zealand, in addition to its $7.5 billion commitment to open an infrastructure region here in 2024.

The local zone will be based in Auckland and will add to two other new AWS zones across Australasia.

Local zones place computer storage, database and other services closer to the populations they serve. This local proximity enables single-digit millisecond speed to end-users. The investment will add to the $10.8 billion economic impact and the creation of 1000 jobs already forecast over the next 15 years as a result of the infrastructure region plans.

Investment of this scale represents a boost to our digital infrastructure sector that will provide the certainty of a pipeline of work for our skilled digital workforce, and opportunities for significant innovation as well as technical resilience improvements.


New Zealand’s infrastructure sector contributes to Tongan response

In January asked our members for assistance to the Tongan tsunami and eruption response.

We have been working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure that those that offered help have been put in touch with those who can facilitate delivery on the ground.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our members and other sector leaders for their generous response.