The country’s largest infrastructure conference, the annual Infrastructure New Zealand Building Nations Symposium, gets underway tomorrow at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland
“With over 600 registered delegates, this is our largest ever conference and couldn’t come at a more important time for an industry experiencing a mix of ups and downs,” says Infrastructure NZ Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.
“Representatives from across central and local government, infrastructure operators and the many contractors, investors and professional service providers who make up the infrastructure sector will gather over two days to hear from Prime Minister Ardern, four Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, three mayors and deputy mayors, China’s Ambassador to New Zealand, the UK’s Minister for Investment, seven other international speakers and over 30 sector leaders.”
There is quite a degree of excitement about the emerging infrastructure programme, but also some lingering uncertainty about the timing and distribution of work, Selwood says.
“Industry will be looking to the very strong government contingent to give confidence to the path ahead.
“Infrastructure funding and financing, regional and urban transport and development, infrastructure capability and reform of planning and water are all key issues for the sector, so presentations from Ministers Robertson, Twyford, Jones and Mahuta will be keenly observed.
“We are privileged to have a number of government infrastructure body leaders over from Australia and the UK to discuss how specialised procurement and strategic infrastructure planning capability can improve public investment.”
Selwood believes tackling Auckland’s growth crisis, most notably congestion and the housing crisis, will be a key topic for delegates, both as residents and as employers finding it challenging to attract and retain staff.
“Presentations from the Auckland Council and Ministry of Transport provide an opportunity to demonstrate how authorities are addressing key public concerns.
“Current policy priorities including the roll out of rail, construction productivity and procurement, transport funding, technology and governance reform will all be discussed.
“This is our largest ever programme and our biggest ever event, a sign that infrastructure remains the outstanding priority for New Zealand,” Selwood says.