Minister of Infrastructure Shane Jones says a new independent body will help sort out some of NZ’s major infrastructure issues, as well as helping to attract local and foreign investment

Minister of Infrastructure Shane Jones says a new independent body will help sort out some of NZ’s major infrastructure issues, as well as helping to attract local and foreign investment
Shane Jones cartoon by Jacky Carpenter.

The Government will set up a new, independent infrastructure unit to attract overseas capital to help address New Zealand’s “massive” infrastructure issues.

Speaking at the Building Nations Symposium in Auckland on Friday, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the Government needs to do better when it comes to long-term infrastructure funding.

The unit, which was mooted by Jones earlier this year, will provide expert advice, planning and strategy and will support the delivery of major infrastructure projects across the country.

“[It will] act as the golden thread between the various pieces of work this Government is undertaking,” Jones says.  

Although the scale of New Zealand’s infrastructure shortfall is “massive,” according to Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive Stephen Selwood, it is hard to quantify exactly.

Jones says he recently asked Treasury to determine the value of the infrastructure deficit and they were unable to do so.

That is because Treasury does not keep accurate and up-to-date information on infrastructure projects, he says.

“The challenge we’re facing here is so big – and between local and central government and industry we don’t even know the size of it,” he says.

The new agency will work to quantify the scale of the shortfall.

Its main goals will be to establish a long-term pipeline of projects, then work with local and central Government, as well as investors, to address some of the issues.

“We see this new entity being a one-stop shop for investors, linking people to procuring entities and informing them about our regulatory and market settings.

“New Zealand is open for business.”

The Government is looking at “innovative ways” of funding various projects and Jones is welcoming “high-quality direct foreign investment.”

“By increasing market confidence and the credibility of the infrastructure investment landscape, people will be more willing to build infrastructure capability and to participate in bidding.”

The Government has allocated $42 billion of net capital spending for infrastructure over the next five years.

“This is a good start, but we need to do better over the long term and I’m confident the new infrastructure entity will help us really sharpen our planning for the future,” Jones says

He adds that Treasury will undertake the policy work and provide options about the unit’s exact governance structure.

Once this is done, Jones will report back to Cabinet early next year; and he hopes to have the new agency in place by late 2019.

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Could you please convert the document in the embedded link to a PDF.


Now lets all hope they don't screw it up.

A simple wishlist:
1. Dual carriage for the entire length of State Highways 1-9.
2. High speed rail between main cities. Even just s single line Auckland to Wgtn via Hamilton and Palmy. Then Blenheim to Dunedin (offshoot to Queenstown)
3. Additional work around electricity generation and transmission. e.g. additional HVDC. North Island is still pretty open to disruption should anything happen.

I'd be careful with your No 2. A country the geographical/demographic spread the size of NZ makes road and flying a better option. ( Your No 1, effectively). What do the trains do outside peak hour for commuters? And even if people commute, what do they do at either end? ( road, I'd guess!). If NZ was going to be set up for rail, it would have been when it was the leading edge of transport (100 years ago). Freight between ports ( deep water Tauranga/Auckland essentially, maybe Marsden Point to Auckland, perhaps Timaru/Christchurch) but the economics of rail, in general, could be a killer with just 5 million of us. Now if there were 50 million of us! But do we want that?

True, population is a potential issue. But it shouldn't be a deal breaker. We are growing, and it doesn't look like any govt will actually try and stop it.

Also I look at the wider issues. Why waste time doing rail from Akld Airport to CBD. Cut out the middleman, WGTN CBD to AKLD CBD potentially in 2.5 hours.

Sure beats traffic to the airport (and it's parking costs), security, wait at the airport, board, sit on tarmac, fly, land, disembark, hit traffic, arrive in CBD.

Then there are the other benefits
- More room, and easier to move around.
- Easier to work (Tables, charging points, internet, mobile phone usage)
- Less disruption due to weather, etc...
- More baggage
- Makes commuting a more viable option from further away (particularly for Auckland)

On sale next year:
Speed and range will improve rapidly over next decade.

Speed and range maybe, but what about
- capacity
- maintenance
and most important - Driver ability :-)
I don't even trust us in regular cars, let alone flying ones.

Interesting.. in one thread you are saying electric motor & battery costs wont come down for EVs, then in this one you are saying range of a (flying) EV (with batteries and 8! electric motors ) will improve rapidly.

Flip Flop much?

There is no inconsistency. This plane is 140kg, 12kWh, probably about 8x10kW motors. A 'cheap/mass market' Tesla model 3 is 1600-1800kg, 50-75kWh, 200-350kW motor. So it is a 7% the weight, 25% the capacity and 20-40% the power with nothing remotely like the complexity of a car.

This 1st generation plane can fly 60km with 12kWh at 130km/hr, about same range efficiency as a Model 3, landing and takeoff while using a lot of power take just seconds. That range efficiency will likely be doubled in future planes using pivoting wings and variable pitch or folding props to reduce drag in cruise.

In mass production this lightweight plane can be built for less than $10k. The EV will always cost much much more.

Yep, and it carries one person and her handbag (maybe?), is stuck where it lands.. No landing gear/skids. And no the range won't improve rapidly, it needs lift to stay airborne, and those winglets don't provide enough.. so most of its energy is going into fighting gravity, not overcoming drag.

Comparing a high performance 5 seater EV with a flying moped is a bit rich, and no a Tesla is not cheap, it the cheapest performance EV, but its about the same price as a 3 series BMW, its in the luxury car space.

A 24kWh leaf is twice the battery capacity and over three times the range. Or an Ioniq EV, NZ $ 60k, 28kWh battery (about 2.3x) has a range of 200km (5x)

The craft can fly for up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 mph, which represents the current limitations of battery tech.


Eventually, the BlackFly will cost the same amount as a sports utility vehicle, though early adopters will likely have to pay more.

ps, 62mph is 100kph, not 130.. and 25miles is 40kms, not 60.

Re-read the linked website, range, speed are for unrestricted international version (us rules are performance limited).

Price is a function of production numbers, and long term in mass production is about 3x materials cost

There may be five million residents but there are more than a hundreds thousands tourists just in North Island at any given time. Fewer road accidents, lesser carbon emission and the best part - getting people out of Auckland and into the region.

Install a GW of PV every year for next 10 years in NI, perhaps optionally on lifestyle blocks and farm buildings (to make use of existing grid infrastructure). Much more useful and practical than trees, good for NI regional growth.

I think realistically a Whangerei to Warkworth Motorway is on the cards - NZF have ambitions of getting a safe electorate seat in Northland. Auckland to Tauranga and Tauranga to Hamilton motorways would also make a lot of sense, as would Amberly to Kaiapoi and Rolleston to Timaru to increase efficiency of Canterbury roads are super cheap to build in flat dry Canterbury.

It will be a combination of foreign $, foreign companies and labours, and foreign efficiency and quality combined to tackle the so called massive infrastructure issues.

Surely our people can neither build nor pay for our schools, roads and public transport projects but our people can serve coffees, lease houses and sell groceries to those foreign workers who come here to do the job.

Don't MBIE handle this?


Foyle nails it up-thread - if this is used with intelligent forethought, it might be a useful step.

But it smells of extending the old narrative.

And public debt is as to be avoided as is private - unless we want to go the way of Tonga

Strange, we just shut the door on foreigners this week by telling them to stay at home.

????, Yvil, can New Zealanders freely buy property in China then proceed to leave it sitting vacant?

The Govt need to use old CFH now known as Crown Infrastructure partners to act as the bank of Infrastructure

Actually I just saw the joke.

'by late 2019'.

We'll be in a very different paradigm by then.

What is evident at the recent Builders Association meeting is a sense of fear, dread and loathing that foreigners will come in and compete with locals

Problem is ........... its a bit like us building cars ............ we simply cannot do it efficiently or cost -effectively and we need the competition .

Correct ...
but reading the article , made me think,
If the Gov and the 3 astute ministers have no clue about the size of infra needed ( neither MBIE nor Treasury apparently do either !) after 10 months in office, why then insisting on building projects ( and putting money aside, and raise fuel tax) which could be a drag on the Infra list like the light rail and others when they in fact do not have a list and a priority for execution ??

How did they reach that priority list when they didn't know the size of the problem in the first place ??

How can you agree with the Greens and NZF on building projects and spending money elsewhere when you don't know the size of Infra problem and want us to believe that you just found that out ????

How can you set a budget and discover 4 months later that you have a big problem with unknown size, Geez ??

Why did you cancel and dismiss previous PPP arrangements to satisfy your " Political Aspirations " as Mr Jones put it today? .... and now we are begging others to join in when we discovered it was a Black Hole ..... and scream out " We are open for business " until they are blue in the face!

Another Agency, and committee, and few Millions spent on consultants to be set up and operate BY THE END OF NEXT YEAR ... lol, why rush it
guys? ... while we have Two ministries with lots of useless people sucking on the state's tits with Zero productivity ( they might even ask for a pay rises soon or they would strike !! ) ... it begs the question, what the hell are the CEOs and Top managers and bureaucrats in these Ministries Doing ??

Poor management, poor ideology, Stupid Election Promises, stupid dreamers with personal agendas, clever spin doctors and opportunistic Unions.... it is unbelievable that we are reading this when we have surpluses, Lol, what will happen in 2020 and beyond when these are vanished ??

One example:

Penlink project has been on Auckland transport planning as a possible Public Private Partnership since 1981. It was finally ready to go after all consents and approvals were in place , it sorts out a 10Km commuter parking lot formed each morning on Whangaparaoa road !! but it is not a priority of a Gov which doesn't even know the size of the problem it is prioritising !!

Reading the Penhill article above shows exactly what happens when noobs take over and set priorities according to their own agenda " Government Policy Statement on Land Transport "

Wonder which private investors in their right state of mind would agree to work with such noobs ?

Bit late - Didn't you read the report announcing the collapse of Ebert ... there are a number of large foreign construction companies already active in the Auckland space


“In some ways, we need to take the politics out of infrastructure but we have to strike a balance between the powers that ministers rightfully acquire when elected, the clout this new agency will need to have to effect tangible change, and the needs of industry.” Jones said

Put it simply, its a failure of pure ideology that has been the backbone of political thinking for the past 40 years in this country. Now we have basically had the collapse of the immigration ponzi scheme component of that ideology the chickens of that short term thinking are coming home to roost. One of those chickens will be in the form of a very angry local population who are realizing a little too late that they have been swept to the margins by masses of inbounds. What will the angries do about it?

So far, they seem to have put Chairman Winnie and Deputy Shane in charge, with Jacinda in Sales and Grant in Accounts. Obviously they are very, very clever and know exactly what needs doing....

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