“The Government’s Policy Statement on Transport confirms record investment over the next decade, but with capital investment levels half what they are in Australia, ongoing congestion, housing unaffordability and constrained economic growth will continue,” says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
“New Zealand’s urban growth system is broken and must be revised to incentivise cities to grow and city leaders must be given the flexibility and tools they need to succeed,” says Stephen Selwood, CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
Seequent, a world leader in visual data science, and Mott MacDonald have been shortlisted in the British Construction Industry Awards for Digital Initiative of the Year. Innovating together the companies delivered a digital, 3D geological modelling solution on the Upper Chelburn Impounding Reservoir in the UK, which is owned and operated by United Utilities.
“The Government’s announcement that this year’s Budget will allocate $42 billion to capital investment over 5 years will provide a welcome boost for regional and urban development, but speed in establishing a specialised strategic procurement agency is now a priority to ensure projects are sequenced and delivered at best value,” said Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
“Details of the exact programme will become clear on Budget day, but with major investment needs in health, education, justice, housing and of course transport, the challenge for the Government will be getting best value out of its programme.
“There is a risk that costs will inflate if project sequencing stretches the market by location, portfolio or skillset.
“A carefully-conceived project pipeline, developed with the industry and comprising the full spectrum of central and local government major projects, is essential to delivering a programme this large.
“Just as important will be the way in which projects are procured.
“Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones’ procurement agency idea now takes on immediate priority, not only to develop the project pipeline but also to ensure that hospitals, schools, roads, railways and other infrastructure are delivered on time, to specification and to budget.
“Recent reports that the SuperFund has made an unsolicited bid to deliver light rail in Auckland underline how sophisticated major project procurement has become.
“It’s great news that investors are looking at national infrastructure as an investment opportunity and we need serious expertise across government to ensure this type of approach will be a success.
“A specialised procurement agency will consolidate public procurement expertise and enable the 5 year $42 billion pipeline to be delivered in a way which benefits all New Zealanders,” Selwood says.
“Cancellation of major projects, delays in new projects coming to market and uncertainty about future transport funding are forcing the contracting sector to release skilled staff just at the point at which the Government wants to increase the speed and scale of construction,” says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
“It is natural for infrastructure priorities to change with new leadership, but the scale of change in recent months combined with high uncertainty over future transport funding is having a particularly heavy effect on a sector under pressure from rising input costs.
“The Government’s desire to utilise private capital to facilitate infrastructure delivery is commendable, as are commitments to increase Crown capital investment from $32b to $42b over the next four years, but it’s the lack of “shovel-ready” projects which is the problem.
“Near-term cancellation of projects which the sector had anticipated getting underway shortly include the consented East-West Link, the Tauranga Northern Corridor, the Petone to Granada Link road and SH1 Cambridge to Piarere.
“Delays to the CRL and north-western busway as well as uncertainty for critical growth projects like the Mill Rd corridor in Auckland and safety projects like Otaki to Levin north of Wellington is compounding the issue.
“All up, a conservative figure of the total investment pushed out of the next four to five-year period is over $2 billion. That’s in the order of $400 million per annum taken out of the contracting sector.
“The industry cannot absorb that level of cost without rationalising staff and equipment – the same staff and equipment which we know are urgently needed today to deliver infrastructure for housing.
“While it is not the Government’s job to keep the construction industry busy, a committed pipeline of work is fundamental to the productivity of the sector, thereby delivering value for tax-payers.
“It is vital that near-term gaps in the project pipeline are not allowed to undermine the long term health and capacity of the construction sector.
“Australian investment in transport is set to double in the next couple of years. The big Aussie contractors will absorb all the available skills we have spent a decade building up, risking a repeat of the 2000s from which we’re still recovering.
“There are projects with consents ready to go, including Mill Rd and Penlink. These projects have very positive economic benefits and unlock land for housing. We know they are going to be delivered, they must be signed off.
“These are urgent issues and if left unattended will materially impact our ability to deliver infrastructure and home construction programmes,” Selwood says.
| A Infrastructure New Zealand release || march 20, 2018 |||
Seequent, (formerly ARANZ Geo), a world leader in the development of data visualisation software, today announced the release of Leapfrog® Works for the civil engineering and environmental industries. Built on the trusted Leapfrog 3D implicit modelling engine, Leapfrog Works improves understanding, visualisation and communication of subsurface conditions and the interaction with infrastructure.
A rather enlightening article posted on engineering.com by Roopinder Tara that has attracted a lot of interest. While the U.S. dawdles with much needed domestic infrastructure upgrades, China is already engaged in a project so massive that it will tilt the Earth in its favor. The trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) is a plan for a web of transportation routes (road, rail, shipping lanes, more—all leading to China) that will be created or expanded over the next 30-plus years. The BRI’s main purpose is to facilitate trade. China, the world’s leading producer of exports, no longer wants to rely on slow moving boats to move its goods out.