Nation: Shane Jones on new “infrastructure entity”

‘Infrastructure entity’ is an odd description for a new layer of bureaucracy.

On Newshub Nation this morning:

This week Minister Shane Jones announced an independent commission to tackle New Zealand’s massive infrastructure deficit. Simon Shepherd asks him how the agency can avoid becoming another layer of bureaucracy

Beehive blurb:


New infrastructure entity to help drive economic growth and wellbeing

A new independent entity will be established so New Zealand gets the quality infrastructure investment it needs to improve long-term economic performance and social wellbeing, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced today.

Speaking at the annual Building Nations Symposium in Auckland, Shane Jones said the new entity would provide greater certainty to the industry and better advice to Ministers to ensure adequate, long-term planning and investment happens.

“When we first came into Government, it quickly became clear that we’re facing a major infrastructure deficit with no plan to tackle it. We’ve struggled to get a clear picture from officials of its scale, when it would hit us the worst and in which sectors.

“Treasury is currently unable to properly quantify the value of the deficit we’re facing – it doesn’t hold accurate or up-to-date information about all infrastructure projects across all sectors and advises that agencies themselves may not necessarily know the extent of their future capital needs.

“This is just not good enough. This Government has a firm eye on the future and not just the next few years. We’re determined to improve economic performance, and social and environmental wellbeing for generations to come and getting on top of our infrastructure challenge is key.

“That means ensuring New Zealand can make the timely and quality investments in vital infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, transport networks, water and electricity. And it means being open to innovative solutions to sourcing the capital we need.

“We’ve listened to industry and local government – they need greater visibility of our infrastructure needs. 

“This new entity will provide that certainty so we can make the right investments, in the right places and the right time.

“We’re already making a significant dent in our infrastructure deficit. 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.

“This is a good start, but we need to do better over the long term and I’m confident the new infrastructure entity will help us really sharpen our planning for the future.

“Treasury will now lead the development of the detailed policy working alongside key industries and I’ll report back to Cabinet early next year with options on how to structure the new organisation,” Shane Jones said.

It is anticipated the new infrastructure entity will be operational by late 2019.


That was quite a different Shane Jones to what we usually see in Parliament. He didn’t stray into flowery crap. It was a fairly forthright performance, saying what he wanted to do, saying what he couldn’t do because of limits imposed by government agreements (especially in the spending cap), he criticised past governments including his then Labour government under Helen Clark, and also (t an extent) praised National initiatives and cooperation.

Apparently the ‘infrastructure entity’ was a National policy that Jones has taken on.

Shane Jones says this infrastructure agency should provide “greater credibility, more certainty, more confidence” for the construction industry

“I’ve got zero patience for the iwi leaders group, I’m more interested in the Indians and the cowboys because they’re the ones who vote for me” – Shane Jones on consultation with Māori freshwater advisory group

19 Comments

  1. Alloytoo

     /  August 18, 2018

    so when this up and running, we can dismiss the Government? Seems to me all these agencies and working groups are going to be running the country anyway.

  2. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  August 18, 2018

    Just call it the Ministry of Works or the Public Works Department.

    The 4th Labour Government dismantled the last one. Now they discover they need some central planning agency that can oversee Public works.

    MUPPETS!

    • Blazer

       /  August 18, 2018

      that was not a real Labour Govt…hi jacked by half wits,Douglas,Prebble and co.

      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  August 18, 2018

        All Parties are susceptible to hijacking…
        Look at the Greens.
        Labour are responsible for selling out our Forest Service assets and our Public Works to Foreign Companies.
        e.g. Who Owns Opus?

        • Pink David

           /  August 18, 2018

          “e.g. Who Owns Opus?”

          WSP. Opus is generally pronounced ‘Hopeless’. If this nonsense goes ahead, I expect it will be very profitable for me.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 18, 2018

      Thank you for that useful information, Maggy; I had totally forgotten that.

      Anyone who thinks that Sir Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble are halfwits doesn’t know them.

  3. David

     /  August 18, 2018

    Our infrastructure is pretty damned good we do have a very big country with not many people. I wish the media would nail down these wild claims and get specifics, politicians scream crisis so they can look important.
    We dont have bridges collapsing, power cuts, water shortages and we can generally get our produce from isolated rural areas to the rest of the world pretty efficiently. Sure we need to invest in infrastructure but if its a crisis well haul back the billions you bribed student voters with and the billion extra that went to foreign affairs and perhaps planting a billion trees could wait.

    • duperez

       /  August 18, 2018

      For a moment there you almost got to say “we ain’t so badly off.” That is a different tune to those who proclaim Doomsday is nigh and civilisation as we know it is about to disappear.

      I’m not talking about those who think that The End is on our doorstep because Trump is going to generate nuclear world war, because some religious fanatics believe the world is going to end on September 29th because of something someone apparently wrote in 1341, or because the All Blacks lost in Sydney.

      According to The (self-proclaimed) Sage and Sensible we are finished because Ardern and the Labour Party are in Government. 🙃

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 18, 2018

        Not finished, just hunkered down in survival mode until 2020.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 18, 2018

    Looks like a prime candidate for major boundary squabbles with other departments.

    • Corky

       /  August 18, 2018

      How much will the office furniture and logo cost?

      • Gerrit

         /  August 18, 2018

        Sir Robert Jones will be happy, more government leases for his office blocks

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 18, 2018

    Beware, this could easily become another vast money sink in pursuit of “one size fits all” Wellington-imposed standards and solutions:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/106268761/superregions-or-a-special-tax–how-the-government-plans-to-fix-new-zealands-broken-water-systems

    • PartisanZ

       /  August 18, 2018

      Household water tanks, pumps and filters might be a good start …?

  6. PartisanZ

     /  August 18, 2018

    Where did Jonesy’s Maori-bashing come from at the end there?

    #OutaRightField, #OnePeople, #FuckUCuz or #DodgeABullet …?

    What’s the relevance of Iwi leaders FFS?

    Still trying to win back the Right Brigade vote permanently alienated during coalition negotiations, when all those really important “bottom lines” were not just compromised but forgotten altogether … (Why does NZF persist in seeing these folk as their only possible hope of popularity renewal?) … or do they think Don Brash and Sir BOB Jones might endorse them?

    WTF?

    So now the tactic is to tack a bit o’ Maori-bashing onto every issue or policy announcement … Smart stuff … Brave … Courageous … Meaningful stuff …

  7. PartisanZ

     /  August 19, 2018

    Jonesy says, “I will not tolerate a handpicked group of people believing that they’re some type of Māori senate” …

    Meantime the country is run by, and its infrastructure coincidentally run down by – in the process of maintaining a ‘profitability proposition’ – a handpicked group of people who not only believe they are, but actually ARE, some kind of Corporate *Prenate* … The base or primary and absolute dictators of government policy …

    The Infrastructure Group is being initiated to foster firstly Economic Growth … and secondly Social Wellbeing … (any good spin doctor would have put it the other way around) …

    Fletchers, Macquarie, Serco, Broadspectrum, Monsanto … who knows who … any one or more of dozens of multinationals on the ‘procurement list’ … might also go to the Supreme Court (or TPPA-type ‘Court’) for not winning the tender to build the new … Prison … or ghastly moana-polluting Sewerage System … completely unwarranted 4 lane Motorway … or supply the carcenogenic Herbicide or Pesticide … or what the fuck ever …

    Corporate-political elites want and intend to have their say, regardless of what citizens or the electorate might want … and sometimes in clear violation of what the environment needs …

    But see how easy it is to transfer our capacities for critical assessment, discernment and value judgement straight onto Maori in a negative way … [that’s why Jonesy looks so uncomfortable saying that *SHIT*] ….

    Well … I for one am perfectly happy for Iwi Leaders to keep watch on their people’s, the environment’s and my behalf … along with as many other groups of citizens as possible …

    • PartisanZ

       /  August 19, 2018

      The word *Prenate* already exists but not in the capital-P sense of a “basement-storey political policy house” – the ‘managed democracy’ or Inverse Totalitarian apposite of ‘Senate’ … Hence I claim it as my new word # 171 …

      The *gestational* sense of prenate [unborn offspring] can also be applied to a Prenate with considerable relevance … Except that the *gestational units* of a Prenate are almost inevitably Old White Men …