New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga has released its report on the telecommunications sector, the first of a series looking at the state of play in key areas of New Zealand’s infrastructure.
Chief Executive Ross Copland says the report found New Zealanders are generally well served by the sector compared to other countries, but there are still challenges on the horizon.
"Our telecommunications infrastructure has given most New Zealanders access to high quality data and voice services. The importance of this was seen during the lockdown earlier this year, when huge numbers of people needed to work or learn from home.
“In many ways it has been an infrastructure success story, and as a nation we are well placed to make the most of new technologies and innovate.
“But it’s when we look beyond the infrastructure itself to the services we depend on, that we can also see challenges and opportunities. As more and more moves online, those without access whether because of geography, income or other factors, will be at an even greater disadvantage.
Increasing use of digital technology in areas like transport also mean cybersecurity will be critical – a world where our vehicles and machines are online results in high stakes creating an imperative to repel cyberattacks.
“These are just some of the observations we’re making as we build our evidence base and work to develop the strategy. Over the coming months, we’ll release similar state of play reports on the energy, waste and resource recovery, water, transport and social infrastructure sectors. We’re keen to hear your feedback – let us know if we’ve got it right or there’s issues you think we’ve missed.”
The information gathered through the state of play reports will inform a draft 30-year infrastructure strategy to be released for consultation in mid-2021. Following consultation, the strategy will be presented to Minister for Infrastructure by September 2021.