Te Waihanga seeks to lift infrastructure planning and delivery to a more strategic level and by doing so, improve New Zealanders’ long-term economic performance and social, cultural and environmental wellbeing.

The Commission was formed by legislation on 25 September 2019 and is an autonomous Crown entity, listed under the Crown Entities Act 2004, with an independent board.

Te Waihanga's mandate arises from its legislation, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Rules of Procurement(external link) and the State Services Investment Management System(external link) which sets out Cabinet’s expectations regarding the management of investments through their lifecycles.

In te reo Māori Te Waihanga means a cornerstone, or to make, create, develop, build, construct, generate. Te Waihanga therefore indicates how significant the Commission will be in shaping New Zealand’s future infrastructure planning and investment.

Infrastructure definition

Infrastructure is a system of inter-connected physical structures which consume capital to produce services that enhance wellbeing.

Examples typically include fixed assets in the following sectors: transport, three waters, energy, telecommunications, social assets (for example: schools, hospitals, prisons and civic amenities) and certain natural assets (for example: floodbanks and wetlands).

Strategy and Planning

Working with central and local government, the private sector and other stakeholders, Te Waihanga will develop a 30-year infrastructure strategy.

This involves building broad public agreement to a plan which will be reported to Government firstly by the end of 2021 and thereafter every five years.

The strategy will cover the ability of existing infrastructure to meet community expectations; current and future infrastructure needs and priorities; as well as any barriers which could impede the delivery of infrastructure or services arising from it.

Major Projects

Te Waihanga also has procurement and delivery advice and support functions. These include assisting the preparation of business cases and can involve the provision of embedded Major Projects and procurement expertise, within central and local government agencies.

As well, a team of experts provides best practice guidance on infrastructure procurement and delivery, including standardised procurement processes and documentation for major infrastructure projects.

An additional function is co-ordination of the NZ public private partnership programme.

Infrastructure Pipeline

A key area of focus is the creation of an Infrastructure Pipeline. Te Waihanga has a role to act as a 'shop front' for the market and to publish a pipeline of infrastructure projects.

When fully developed the pipeline will help give the infrastructure market greater certainty about future infrastructure projects.

A developed pipleline will also in gearing-up capacity and capability to deliver. It will also inform Te Waihanga's thinking as it develops a 30-year strategy to address New Zealand’s infrastructure needs.