Our latest New Zealand Infrastructure Trends & Insights, the third in our biennial infrastructure series, reflects on the past two years and looks at what lies ahead for infrastructure in New Zealand.
The New Zealand infrastructure sector is facing exceptional challenges – economic, financial, environmental, logistical and regulatory – as the Government seeks to create a more sustainable and climate resilient economy in a world which is becoming less predictable.
Partner and infrastructure team co-lead Mark Reese said the optimism which had infused the firm’s 2020 issue was now harder to maintain.
“Transactions are beginning to trickle through under the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Act, although the process can be cumbersome. The Three Waters package has an uncertain future. And, while the introduction of the Natural and Built Environments Bill (NBE Bill) and the Spatial Planning Bill have provided some clarity as to what the post-RMA era will look like, they are a mixed bag so far as infrastructure is concerned”.
The sector is experiencing significant policy reform, and while the broad contours are now in place, there are gaps that need to be filled before the full picture becomes clear.
“To some extent this is unavoidable, given the volume and pace of change, as it is impossible for policy-makers to do everything at once and to anticipate exactly how a policy will land. But the effect is that, while there are a lot of projects in progress and in prospect, there are also a lot that are in trouble”.