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Government modernises Public Works Act

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Staff Reporter

19 June 2024, 8:17 PM

Government modernises Public Works ActEasier to build critical infrastructure

In a bid to address New Zealand's infrastructure deficit, the Government announced a modernisation of the Public Works Act.

The move aims to facilitate the faster and more cost-effective construction of essential public infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk said.

An independent panel will review the Act over the next eight weeks, recommending pragmatic changes to expedite large-scale projects.

"Critical infrastructure projects like schools, roads, water services, and energy projects have not kept pace with our nation's needs," Penk stated.

The outdated Act has delayed projects by up to five years, adding time, cost, and uncertainty for taxpayers and planners.

"Every year, millions of dollars are spent litigating under the Act," Penk noted. "Updating the Act is part of a broader reform to make infrastructure delivery quicker and more efficient."

The review panel, to be appointed by the Chief Executive of Land Information, will deliver its findings to support the legislation, which is slated for introduction in mid-2025.

Minister for Building and Construction, Chris Penk.

Public feedback will be invited during the select committee process.

Meanwhile, the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides an overview of planned projects, has surpassed $120 billion in value.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop highlighted the Government's record investment to rebuild the economy.

"The pipeline shows local government and the private sector are also meeting the infrastructure challenge," Bishop said.

Infrastructure Minister, Chris Bishop.

Currently, there are $44 billion worth of projects under construction, with projections of $12.1 billion in spending for 2024 and $11.6 billion for 2025.

"Almost 70 per cent of the projects in the pipeline have confirmed funding sources," Bishop added.

Insights from the pipeline will contribute to the development of a 30-year National Infrastructure Plan, led by the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission.

"I encourage all infrastructure providers to participate and maintain their project information," Bishop concluded.

Key points in the Pipeline:

  • $121.2 billion total project value as at March 31 (up 11.7 per cent from December 2023)
  • 1356 projects greater than $10 million
  • 82 contributing organisations, including 37 councils that represents around three-quarters of all rates revenue collected
  • New Zealand Infrastructure Commission projections show a spend of $12.1 billion in 2024 and $11.6 billion in 2025. Three-quarters of all projected spend occurs within 3.5 years.