On the 2nd May 2022, Te Waihanga Infrastructure Commission New Zealand released Aotearoa’s first long-term infrastructure strategy to help shape the way infrastructure decisions are made in the future. This strategy – named Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa – looks to set a pathway for transforming Aotearoa’s infrastructure over the next 30 years. IPWEA NZ were pleased to provide a submission on the earlier draft of the strategy.

Te Waihanga has spent two years planning this strategy with considerable investment involved in extensive research, as well as public, iwi and stakeholder engagement to ensure that the strategy will look to the needs of people across the motu. It incorporates feedback from over 20,000 New Zealanders, including information gathered through Te Waihanga’s Aotearoa 2050 survey about our infrastructure sectors. The strategy concludes by responding to the challenges raised and by making 68 recommendations for change to the way New Zealand manages and creates infrastructure.

As we step deeper into the 21st century, long-term challenges are becoming increasingly urgent. It is naive to ignore the need to plan for our changing climate, the growing population, and the changing demographics of New Zealand. Aotearoa’s infrastructure must continue to meet our requirements to maintain our quality of life and the levels of service deemed necessary in our communities. It is one of the biggest investments we make and as construction costs continue to increase, and resources and supply chains are continually stretched, how do we ensure that the management and delivery of our infrastructure can cope?

Whilst the creation and delivery of assets and infrastructure will be key, this is only part of the solution. Te Waihanga, also place a large emphasis on the need to change the way we use and manage our infrastructure, in both new and existing assets. By implementing strong asset management principles and practices, we’ll be able to protect and continue to use our infrastructure for longer, creating a more sustainable and practical model.

Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa offers a new approach to planning, delivering, maintaining, funding and financing infrastructure. The next step is for the government to review the recommendations made and to decide whether they will be implemented.

To read the full strategy, or to have your say visit: https://strategy.tewaihanga.govt.nz/