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Sat December 07 2019

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NZ’s infrastructure pipeline passes $20bn

12 Nov The newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Infrastructure has identified a pipeline of upcoming major capital projects with a combined value of NZ$21.1bn (£10.45bn).

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released its first update to an initial list developed by the Treasury.

The pipeline contains data from 15 organisations, which have identified more than 500 credible and committed projects over the next decade. Contributors include government agencies and local councils, as well as council-controlled organisations and a university. One of the Commission’s objectives is to improve New Zealand’s infrastructure procurement and the pipeline is seen as a key part of this, delivering greater certainty to infrastructure builders and investors.

Commission board chair Dr Alan Bollard said that, even though it is still in development, the pipeline provides some useful guidance to the market. "As might be expected, transport is the largest sector in the pipeline, comprising nearly a third of the total estimated value. Water and energy are represented for the first time and the latest version incorporates data from across the Manawatu, in an effort to test the value of regional infrastructure overviews."

Bollard added that pipeline development is an iterative process, with more, better quality data being incorporated all the time. In this version, project phase dates were provided for roughly 30% of projects by volume and value.

“Taking those caveats into account, early indications are that nearly $670m of works are expected to move from business case to procurement between now and March 2020, with an increase in construction activity throughout 2020 and 2021,” he said.

Bollard added: "As with any tool of this kind, it is only as valuable as the information it contains. We welcome the ten additional contributors to this version and encourage all government agencies and councils to share their plans."

Minister for infrastructure Shane Jones welcomed the publication of the new pipeline. “The first iteration of the pipeline by Treasury included a small number of capital-intensive central government agencies and had a combined worth of $6.1 billion,” he said. “Today’s updated pipeline has an estimated value of $21.1 billion. It’s great to see the Commission working with more agencies and organisations to include their planned infrastructure developments in the pipeline. The purpose of this exercise is to provide the sector with greater information and certainty about anticipated capital expenditure over the next five years, so it is best prepared to deliver on the government’s ambitions for world-class infrastructure in our cities and regions.

“I’m particularly pleased to see local government represented for the first time. It’s important the pipeline extends beyond just central Government and accounts for major capital expenditure across the whole economy, and in time I look forward to seeing private sector projects included as well. It will also help the Commission to develop its 30-year infrastructure strategy.”

Jones added: “I strongly encourage the infrastructure sector to engage with the updated pipeline and make the most of its data and insights.”

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