The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
August 12, 2009

NZCID

You may not have heard of the NZCID, and no, we’re not talking about a tv show or a branch of the Police, but nonetheless, NZCID is in town today and having an effect on your future. It’s the Council for Infrastructure Development, and they’re having their “Building Nations” Symposium 2009 at Te Papa today and tomorrow.

“The symposium provides a platform for the public and private sectors to discuss strategies and best practice for advancing infrastructure development in New Zealand. Among the speakers will be the Hon Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of both Finance and Infrastructure. He will outline the government programme for infrastructure development and investment. He will be joined at the conference by the Hon Steven Joyce, Minister of Transport, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Associate Finance and Infrastructure Minister, who will address advancing projects of national significance.”

We’re unlikely to have a live blogger at the conference, although I’m sure that Kent would be welcome to attend if he wore a navy blue suit. It’s fantastic that at last someone is advocating that NZ actually plans ahead, instead of bumbling along in our day to day stupor, but I have suspicions that this is all a front for the right wing to push through amendments to the RMA that take away the rights of community groups. Expect Bill English and Stephen Joyce to get rousing applause every time they mention “Rationalising statutory approval processes”, or “Making greater use of public debt and infrastructure bonds and encouraging partnerships with the private sector through guidelines / frameworks”.

Also expect Transmission Gully to get the go-ahead no, just kidding. It probably won’t get mentioned at all. Carpet. Sweeping. Under. It would be nice to think that they may have some alternative voices, presenting alternative viewpoints, but that seems doubtful. Just like an NZIA conference, it’ll just be like talking unto like, the converted talking to the converted. We don’t even know if there will be anyone talking about design or architecture at all – which is a missed opportunity in my books – how can you discuss infrastructure planning without discussing infrastructure design as well? But hopefully, by the end of it, we may see some more results and a clearer way forward.

Kent Duston
12 - 08 - 09

Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence in the blue suit! Memo to self: wear jeans when making next submission.

I see that Bill English is already extolling the virtues of PPPs for infrastructure – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10590245 – which the OECD reckons are a complete dead loss. It’s almost like he’s standing up in front of international investors saying “Welcome to NZ Inc! We make the same mistakes as the UK and Australia, but – and here’s our unique selling point – 20 years later!”

lgm
12 - 08 - 09

I guess it will be too naive to hope for an integrated public transport system – but at least no doubt broadband will be mentioned numerous times …

Maximus
13 - 08 - 09

it’s good to see that there is a piece in the NZ Herald, from WAM director John Coop, which seems to be timed well for this conference, and extols the virtues of good design: here’s a snippet:

“John Coop: Simple formula for success starts with good design”
Tuesday Aug 11, 2009
“In all its complexity, infrastructure has a simple underlying truth. It’s encouraging to see it beginning to emerge in New Zealand. It goes like this: Good design at the outset results in smoother processes which means faster and better outcomes with less risk. It’s a simple formula, applied successfully in infrastructural development in Europe and, to a lesser extent, the US, for decades. It’s a formula that ensures design is not merely a flourish late in the infrastructural development process. Significantly, too, it’s a formula that works independent of a country’s scale or resources…..”

the rest is at:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-business-analysis/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501241&objectid=10589875

Maximus
13 - 08 - 09

Kent: I meant that to fit in, and not get found out as someone who is not 100% in favour of more roads, bigger trucks, infrastructure projects consisting of road tunnels and road bridges only, then you may want to disguise yourself as a member of the ruling party ie the Nats. I believe a blue suit is compulsory for them. If no blue suit is available, then a grey suit may suffice.

I have it from a reliable source that the NZCID is just a version of the National party in another guise. Big business has always been the one that sides with the Nats rather than Labour, and they’ve been champing at the bit for the last 9 years while Helen Clark was ruling in conjunction with the Greens. No great surprise there that the business ’round table’ and others are keen to get back into swing building more roads and privatising anything that isn’t nailed down.

phil_style
14 - 08 - 09

Do I smell a UK style IPC on the cards?

Maximus
14 - 08 - 09

IPC ?
International Patent Classification?
Indian Penal Code?
International Paralympic Committee?

not sure what you mean …..

phil_style
15 - 08 - 09

Infastructure Planning Commission, apologies.

http://www.planninghelp.org.uk/planning-system/planning-for-major-infrastructure-projects/major-infrastructure-the-infrastructure-planning-commission