I’m really pleased that we are going to have an independent Infrastructure Commission that will deal with our considerable infrastructure needs.
I’ve been concerned that the money we spend on infrastructure in the past and there’s billions of dollars of it is more the subject of political whim than rational thought.
A prime example of political whim was the previous government’s Roads of National Significance (RONS).
These roads were designed to elicit votes more than freeing up traffic and wasted billions.
There’s also the problem with Auckland where we allowed massive immigration while totally ignoring infrastructure needs.
Minister Shane Jones tells us that the Infrastructure Commission will have two broad aims, strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. They are functions we desperately need.
I remain totally unconvinced of the abilities of the New Zealand Transport Agency to achieve much and having the Commission involved is extremely positive in my view.
I also thought the makeup of the Commission was inspired. The people the government has appointed are entirely capable of getting the job done.
It isn’t as if we don’t need a high powered independent organisation to oversee infrastructure development.
Treasury tells us in that the government will be spending about $42 million on infrastructure from now until 2022. It is good that in independent panel is overseeing that rather than a hide-bound bureaucracy.
I view the creation of the NZ Infrastructure Commission both positive and vital to NZ going forward.