Hon Shane Jones
Minister for Infrastructure
20 February 2019 MEDIA STATEMENT
New independent Commission to tackle infrastructure issues
Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has today announced the name, form and functions of New Zealand’s new independent
The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out
two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support.
“The new Commission will help ensure we are making the best decisions about infrastructure investment to improve the
long-term economic performance and social wellbeing of our country,” Shane Jones said.
“The Commission will develop a broad consensus on long-term strategy, enable coordination of infrastructure planning and
provide advice and best practice support to infrastructure initiatives.
“We want the Commission to be a well-respected public voice that has credibility among the private and public sector and
helps integrate across our entire infrastructure system.
“A short-term, project specific focus by previous governments, along with underinvestment, means that New Zealand is now
facing an unprecedented infrastructure deficit that this Government is committed to tackling.
“Our transport and urban infrastructure is struggling to keep up with population growth, increased demand and changing
needs, including transitioning to a low emissions economy. New Zealand’s regional infrastructure is often not at a
standard required by communities – this infrastructure deficit is manifesting in housing unaffordability, congestion,
poor quality drinking water and lost productivity. That’s simply not good enough.
“Treasury estimates that net capital spending in the next five years will be more than double that of the previous five
years with the Government investing about $42 billion through to 2022. With this level of investment, we want to make
sure we take a longer-term view and make decisions that align with our priorities to build a productive, sustainable and
inclusive economy and improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
“We received nearly 130 submissions on what a new infrastructure body should look like. The overwhelming message was
that it had enough independence from government to have credibility with private sector infrastructure owners, market
participants and local government, while also having a close relationship with Ministers.
“We have heard that message, and we have delivered. Ministers will retain final decisions on infrastructure investments,
but the Commission will have an independent board and the autonomy it needs to provide robust, impartial advice. It will
help hold this government, and future governments, to account and we welcome that,” Shane Jones said.
Notes to editors:
• The Cabinet Paper outlining these decisions can be found here
along with nearly 130 submissions received during consultation on the new infrastructure body, and a summary of those
• Legislation establishing the Commission is expected to be introduced in April.
• Subject to the legislative timetable, the aim is for the Commission to be operational from October this year.
• Its procurement and delivery support functions are now being undertaken by the Infrastructure Transactions Unit, which
was stood up in Treasury late last year. It will move into the Commission once it is established.
• Cabinet had already approved $4.24 million to establish the body, including $3.392 million in 2018/19 to allow work to
begin ahead of the new entity being established.
• To complement the work the Unit is doing, a panel of experts are guiding Treasury in the establishment of the
Commission, and in the shaping of advice on key issues. All thepanel members
have considerable standing and expertise in the infrastructure sector.
• Ministers will appoint a chairperson by mid-2019.