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.

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