After being sworn in as Infrastructure Minister, it became immediately clear that New Zealand is facing a major infrastructure deficit. But we have no detailed and definitive way of quantifying the scale of that deficit – which sectors will be hit the hardest and how we best go about dealing with our infrastructure challenges.
Getting on top of these issues is essential to our economic future, as well as our social and environmental wellbeing. I strongly believe we need to overhaul how we think about infrastructure and how we plan and deliver it.
I am not alone in this view.
This Government has heard from the market itself, as well as local government, about the need for greater visibility of New Zealand’s infrastructure needs. Only once everyone is on the same page about what our needs are can we start planning when and where investment should occur so the sector can organise itself to meet the demand.
As a country, we need to coordinate better, and we need to bring the public and private sector into the same room so we can make the most of the infrastructure we already have and ensure that our future investments deliver the right outcomes, in the right place, at the right time.
For these reasons, the Government is establishing a new independent infrastructure body next year to ensure better infrastructure planning. To help determine what the new entity should look like, and how it can best be mandated to tackle these issues, I encourage you to read the proposals outlined in this Treasury document and submit your views.
Hon Shane Jones Minister for Infrastructure