Strategy development

Te Waihanga is developing a draft 30-year infrastructure strategy, which will be tabled in Parliament in late 2021. This strategy will provide decision makers with a basis for bold reform and policy change, informed by independent, evidence-based analysis.   

The strategy will: 

  • Assess the overall fitness for purpose of New Zealand’s infrastructure system
  • Determine how well the current system is working 
  • Identify priorities 
  • Identify barriers to good outcomes 
  • Identify the root cause of systemic issues 
  • Determine how best to meet future community expectations 
  • Use foresight planning to consider a range of future possibilities. 

Te Waihanga will be working with central and local government, the general public, the private sector, iwi and other stakeholders to develop the strategy. This will help us build consensus on a long-term vision for infrastructure and the outcomes that New Zealand wants to achieve. The strategy will replace the government’s current 30 year plan(external link).

The plan will take long-term trends into account, such as:

  • Climate change
  • New technologies
  • Demographic change.

It will focus on strategic issues for infrastructure, rather than individual projects.

How we will engage  collaboration, co-design, consensus 

For the first time, New Zealanders get to have a say about the infrastructure they want in the future and the sort of life they wish to lead. This strategy will be different from previous ones because Te Waihanga is an autonomous crown entity, providing independent advice.  

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission / Te Waihanga Act 2019 requires the Commission to develop a strategy that has “broad agreement” or consensus. This will be vital to its success. It will be far harder for any Infrastructure Minister to reject a strategy which has been co-designed in a collaborative fashion. We encourage all New Zealanders to engage with us throughout the development of the strategy.  

Reference groups 

We’re establishing two reference groups to guide us in our work: 

  • Māori – a partnership approachproviding support in evaluating our ‘evidence’ with a te ao Māori lens and providing a deeper understanding of Māori views and experiences with infrastructure. We are working with Te Arawhiti, the Crown/Māori relations office to determine the ideal form for Māori engagement.  
  • Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) – providing insights on infrastructure systems and settings at a regional, spatial and catchment level. This group will also provide checks, balance and support as the strategy is developed. 

The development process 

The development process involves building an evidence base and testing it. After identifying gaps and themes, we will develop strategic recommendations and test them. This will occur against a background of future horizon scanning, using a foresight programme to identify a range of possible futures.

State of Plays

We're looking at the state of play in the telecommunications, energy, waste and resource recovery, water, transport and social infrastructure sectors.

The State of Play reports will be released at the end of 2020 and early 2021 and describe the current state of the sectors, the issues they face as well as those they needs to prepare for.

The reports are based on our own research, a survey of infrastructure owners as well as conversations with people within the sector.

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.

Read the State of Play reports

Infrastructure Asset Owners Survey

Te Waihanga commissioned a survey of infrastructure asset owners from across sectors that included local and central government, health, transport and energy. This asked asset owners how well their infrastructure was performing in meeting the wellbeing needs of New Zealanders, and gathered information on the challenges they faced as well as opportunities. Some of the key themes identified included funding and financing challenges, asset management and procurement, natural hazards and climate change, and the challenges of moving to a low emissions economy.

We’re using the information we gathered through this survey in helping to develop our 30-year strategy for infrastructure.

How you can engage with us 

Te Waihanga invites participation from a broad range of stakeholders. We’ll continue to check back throughout the development of the strategy to ensure we’ve understood your points of view. All feedback is valuable.

Find out about how to get involved in having your say on New Zealand's first 30-year infrastructure strategy, including alternative engagement options and translated alternatives.

Have your say