English Wants ‘Smarter’ Decisions


Councils and the government are agreeing to work closer together to ensure what minister Bill English calls “smarter infrastructure decisions and investment.”
Local Government NZ representatives met with the Minister, including the mayors of Wellington, Hastings, New Plymouth, South Wairarapa and Ashburton and the chair of Northland Regional Council.

The Minister told them the government was investing billions into infrastructure but “at a time when our finances are constrained, it is vital we get the most out of this investment. That means projects must be properly selected and must provide a justifiable return on taxpayers’ funds.

“The Government is determined to improve the management of its assets – both the current stock and how decisions are made about future investment.”

There was an agreement to aim to:

  • develop an integrated planning framework to provide greater certainty about investment and decision-making
  • get better information about infrastructure priorities and likely future demand
  • improve strategic alignment between central and local government
  • identify opportunities to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers
  • further develop and share asset management skills and practice
  • ensure local government has the tools it needs to manage emerging infrastructure pressures

LGNZ president Lawrence Yule said he was looking forward to the development of an updated version of the National Infrastructure Plan as a “positive step towards the creation of a nationally-consistent infrastructure planning and investment framework, encompassing both central and local government.

“This is an opportunity to develop a framework based on engagement, discussion and management of tradeoffs, rather than regulation, central government direction setting or binding funding commitments,” he said.

LGNZ also looked forward to the opportunity to work with central government on investigating regulatory barriers currently faced by local government.




  1. Matt says:

    If finances are so constrained, and I’m not debating that they are given the recent cuts to taxation income, how does Joyce’s pet road continue to survive despite its abysmal BCR? Surely anything that’s not returning at least 2 on conservative investigation should be a target for the chop?

  2. Ar says:

    Smarter decisions synonymous for motorways oh gawd

  3. karl says:

    “That means projects must be properly selected and must provide a justifiable return on taxpayers’ funds.”

    That’s going on my placard!

  4. jarbury says:

    Maybe he should tell Steven Joyce about this requirement. Or doesn’t it apply to motorways?


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