The Infrastructure Forum has just started. I’m only half taking it in, as was a pretty late night out with the Young Nationals celebrating the All Blacks massive victory.
Got absolutely soaked to the bone getting home – it was thundering down, and taxis were scarce with a 30 minute delay if you phoned for one.
Anyway back to infrastructure. First up was Maurice Williamson on transport and he summed it up himself with a one liner – National will build more roads – lots of them! He gave some staggering figures on the massive increase in costs that some roading projects have incurred due to consent delays. He stressed this wasn’t about even getiing enough roads for future volume, but just getting us enough for our current needs.
Then Gerry Brownlee on energy. Gerry said that if we found Maui field today, it would be worth around $50 billion. Said that concern over carbon emissions doesn’t change the fact that replacements for current fuel sources are not extensively available, so demand will stay high. NZ second only to Canada in our mineral endowment.
Third up was Nick Smith on RMA reform. Round up of how multiple business organisations, government advisory groups and surveys all rate this as the highest priority. Will be enacted within months not years of the election.
Questions were fairly as expected. A patsy on why broadband is a better infrastructure investment than trains. Some discussion on coal and carbon emissions and whether one can sequester the co2 from coal. Also focus on consenting for roads – the desirability of having one consent application for an entire motorway, rather than breaking it down into lots of small packages – each of which has its own process.Tags: Bill English, Gerry Brownlee, infrastructure, Maurice Williamson, National, Nick Smith, RMA, roads