Strong leadership for new Infrastructure board

Shane Jones during a recent visit in Rotorua.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced the inaugural board for the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga.

Speaking at the annual Building Nations symposium in Rotorua today, Minister Jones has named Dr Alan Bollard as chairman of the new independent Infrastructure Commission.

The Commission is tasked with developing a long-term infrastructure plan and pipeline and helping Governments make decisions to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

“I’m so pleased to be announcing the new board today, particularly former Reserve Bank governor Dr Alan Bollard as our chairman,” says Shane.

“As a Government, we’re confident the board brings together a wide range of skills and experience essential for providing effective leadership in the infrastructure sector, and delivering the step-change we need.

“I’m also delighted to today be able to announce Jon Grayson has been appointed by the board as chief executive.

“Jon is currently Deputy Secretary Financial and Commercial at the New Zealand Treasury and he has played an integral role in the establishment of the new Commission."

The Government allocated a record $41 billion in Budget 2019 for capital spending over the next 5 years, focused on building schools, hospitals, houses, roads and public transport.

“Because of this, the two overarching functions that Te Waihanga will have – strategy and planning, and delivery support – are more important than ever. The Commission will develop a 30-year infrastructure strategy for New Zealand, as well as producing a pipeline of major projects, both of which I’m aware are keenly anticipated by the sector.

“The new board combines significant economic expertise with legal, financial, regulatory, and on-the-ground experience, all of which are essential to delivering these goals.

“Throughout the process of setting up Te Waihanga, establishing and maintaining credibility with industry has been a core focus. I’m confident this board has the mana to build effective relationships with stakeholders, and dismantle the various barriers to building high quality infrastructure in this country – whether they be financing, planning, or a lack of certainty and capacity among those we rely on to deliver projects.

“I’m also confident their counsel on infrastructure matters will be valued highly among my Cabinet colleagues, when it is called for.

“It’s easy to demand increased spending on infrastructure, but more difficult to create the conditions conducive to this. The Coalition Government knows delivering the schools, transport system, and hospitals New Zealanders need takes more than just rhetoric, and I’m proud to be delivering the next step toward realising our ambitious capital expenditure programme,” says Shane.

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission is on track to be operational by October this year.


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