The Infrastructure Pipeline will be used to set out the projects to be delivered by central government agencies over the next five years.
Developing the long-term and publicly available pipeline will be a key focus for the new Infrastructure Commission, which is due to be up and running by the end of the year.
Infrastructure minister Shane Jones said: “By shining a light on the big capital projects expected over a five-year horizon, the pipeline will not only give industry much needed certainty, but also help inform the Infrastructure Commission’s thinking as it develops a 30-year strategy to reverse New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit and maximise value for money from the Government’s $42 billion [£21bn] capital spending plan.”
He added: “The Government is the construction industry’s biggest client and the new Commission will play an important role in coordinating and planning New Zealand’s infrastructure investment, to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
“Once fully developed, the Infrastructure Pipeline tool will help give the infrastructure market greater confidence about the timing, sequencing and scale of future credible and committed infrastructure projects, so it can gear-up capacity and capability to deliver,” said Jones.
New Zealand already has a skills and labour shortage in the construction sector and has been seeking to recruit from other countries to avert a crisis when projects reach a peak. Construction skills are a priority occupation under the country's fast-track skills-based visa system.
A campaign targeting foreign recuitment, LookSee Build, was introduced in 2017 (link opens in new tab) and has now been relaunched as the situation has become more pressing. LookSee Build spokesman Hamish Price said this week that the UK is a priority market given present conditions: “We need top infrastructure people in New Zealand right now and into the future and we make no apologies for targeting the best of British during their period of Brexit uncertainty – it’s a huge opportunity for us.”
The prototype infrastructure pipeline currently includes data from five capital-intensive central government agencies: The Ministries of Education and Health, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Department of Corrections.
“This prototype will allow us to gather feedback on the pipeline’s form and function before it expands to involve all central government agencies, local government, and, in time, private sector projects.” said Jones.