“The priority is to fix our country before it suffocates under the weight of combined housing, transport, equity and environmental challenges.”
New Zealand’s infrastructure providers are keen to play a lead role in driving economic growth but say the sector is still working to build the support this will need, a special report by SenateSHJ has found.
The report is based on a series of interviews conducted by SenateSHJ with New Zealand infrastructure leaders about how well the sector is telling its story and connecting with New Zealanders. It found sector leaders are confident about tackling a multi-billion infrastructure catch up, but most said it lacked a clear strategy for building a constituency of support.
“The priority is to fix our country before it suffocates under the weight of combined housing, transport, equity and environmental challenges,” one interviewee said. “But we have no overarching framework to guide public services towards shared outcomes.”
Another said the sector’s offering was conveyed in a fragmented way: “It’s like our cycleways. There’s a piece here, and there’s a piece there. But to get from A to B you take your life in your hands.”
Confidence remains high but to fulfill its potential, infrastructure needs to share a vision based on tangible benefits to New Zealanders, the report said.
Interviewees credited the government with establishing the Infrastructure Commission, driving the Construction Sector Accord and reviewing resource management, but called for a more clearly articulated vision.
“The infrastructure sector is rightly proud of what it offers New Zealand. We found wide agreement that along with expertise and funding, success in communication is vital to delivering on its promise,” Brendon O’Connor, SenateSHJ Managing Director, said.
We are very grateful for the input we have had on this report from key leaders within the sector who made the time to be interviewed and provide us with their insights on the key communication challenges facing the sector.