Regional partnerships essential for infrastructure growth


Infrastructure NZ Policy Director Hamish Glenn voices his support for city and regional infrastructure partnerships, saying that they would support regional development through the depoliticising of investment decision-making

On Tuesday September 29, the ACT party announced its infrastructure policy, which aims to bring infrastructure planning and funding together through partnerships between central and local government.

Glenn says that the party’s intentions are consistent consistent with Infrastructure New Zealand’s 2019 Building Regions report, which suggests reform for the planning, funding, and delivery of infrastructure in Aotearoa.

“Partnerships would empower regions to deliver infrastructure according to a 30-year plan which they would co-develop with central government. Central government would monitor performance and provide funding where regional and central goals aligned,” he says.

“Flexible funding through shared GST, increased user charges, as well as existing tools such as local rates, central government funding, and PPPs, would give regions certainty about their options and allow them to strategically plan development according to both future demands and possible revenue.

“Ideally, these partnerships would be aligned with the Infrastructure Commission’s 30-year strategy and implemented via a reformed planning system,” says Glenn.

Glenn says that he is pleased to see politics take on incentive-based approaches when tackling growth and development in New Zealand.

“We cannot as a country expect to overcome the issues of the past and recover from COVID using the same approaches which gave rise to simultaneous housing, transport and water crises,” he says.

“A partnership approach which improves infrastructure decision making, supports regional development and enables collaboration with local government should be a priority for all political parties,” says Glenn.

Infrastructure New Zealand