Calls for transformational government reform made at Building Nations Symposium

Earlier this month Infrastructure NZ released the results of Beca-sponsored polling carried out during the 2019 Building Nations Symposium held last month in Rotorua. The Symposium was attended by over 720 industry leaders, who were asked their thoughts on a range of current and proposed policies. The key theme coming out of attendees’ responses was a call for transformational change when it comes to the relationship between local and central government.

Key Building Nations 2019 polling results

Some key polling results include:

  • 73% of respondents supported Infrastructure New Zealand’s proposal for reform of governance planning and funding in New Zealand.
  • 66% of respondents agreed that water services should not be owned by local councils and instead be delivered by regulated Watercare-type entities. Only 2% of respondents supported leaving water services provision as it is under local council control.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly supported more tools for local and regional governments in order to unlock the full potential of the regions.

The full results of the polling from the 2019 Building Nations Symposium are available online.

Building Nations 2019 procurement survey

As part of the Building Nations Symposium, Sarah Lang, Project Director for Infrastructure New Zealand, presented on the results of this year’s Infrastructure Procurement Survey. The 2019 Survey had 168 respondents and asked a number of questions around procurement practices and performance in New Zealand.

Again, the results of the Survey show that there is room for improvement in how infrastructure is provided, and that developments such as the Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga, need to be given the support and resourcing needed to facilitate improved infrastructure delivery in New Zealand.

Some key survey results include:

  • Focus areas for the Infrastructure Commission were identified by respondents as including:
    • publishing a major project pipeline of infrastructure projects; and
    • supporting government agencies in project procurement and delivery.
  • Generally, respondents reported a wide range of performance across government agencies, with the average procurement performance rating falling when compared to the 2017 average rating.
  • Ports were found to lead the way on procurement performance (Auckland, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga). Other government entities which performed well included Auckland Airport, Auckland Council, District Health Boards and Watercare.

As part of the Survey, respondents were invited to provide in-depth feedback on their views of both public sector and private sector procurement. Generally, respondents’ feedback highlighted the variability of procurement performance, and the fact that there can be too much focus on process and not outcome when it comes to both public and private sector procurement.

The full presentation of the 2019 Infrastructure Procurement Survey Results is available to read.

Infrastructure NZ’s thought leadership report

Infrastructure New Zealand also published a thought leadership report titled “Building Regions: A Vision for Local Government, Planning Law and Funding Reform” which was published in conjunction with the Symposium. The report highlights the need for reallocation of roles and responsibilities across different levels of government, with a focus on empowering local governments to have responsibility for key regional issues such as transport, regional economic development and housing.

The full report can be viewed online.

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