Investing in sustainable infrastructure ensures enduring value for New Zealand communities. Good quality infrastructure investment and asset management will be instrumental in New Zealand successfully navigating the challenges and opportunities of the next 20 years. These include: a predicted 22% population increase by 2031; the urgency of stimulating economic growth; managing the vulnerability of the NZ economy to climate change impacts; our carbon reduction commitments; and the evolving needs of our communities.
In early 2010, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment called a meeting of infrastructure sector stakeholders to gauge demand for a sustainability benchmarking framework for infrastructure in New Zealand. The meeting was attended by a wide range of infrastructure stakeholder organisations with representation across asset owners, managers and funders, designers and contractors and policy-makers. Ports, airports, roading, rail and telecommunications organisations were all in attendance, as well as a number of key industry organisations.
There was genuine interest expressed in investigating the benefits of establishing a benchmarking framework to facilitate more sustainable outcomes for New Zealand’s infrastructure investment, and an Advisory Group was formed to guide this initiative forward. The New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) was selected to facilitate this initiative, and has now established a Working Group to progress its development.
Through the establishment of the National Infrastructure Unit (NIU), the Government has recognised that improved cross-sector coordination and decision-making is needed to lift our game. Currently no mechanism exists to assess and benchmark the whole of life economic, social and environmental sustainability of our new and existing assets in an integrated and consistent way across sectors. A sustainability benchmarking framework may provide a key tool in managing risk and future-proofing public and private sector investments.
To express interest in this initiative please contact us.