Infrastructure refers to the fixed, long-lived structures that facilitate the production of goods and services, including transport, water, energy, social assets, and digital infrastructure such as our broadband and mobile networks.
Infrastructure supports much of our daily lives, by providing reliable electricity, clean drinking water, and transport networks that allow us to safely undertake our work and live our lives every day. For businesses to invest, they need to be confident that they will have reliable access to adequate infrastructure. Infrastructure also is key to social service delivery, and therefore it is important that our education, health and justice networks are fit for purpose.
New Zealand’s infrastructure faces a number of challenges, including the need to renew ageing infrastructure, the pressures of an aging and urbanising population, tight fiscal constraints, changing technology, the effects of climate change, and the increased pressure on our natural resources.
As the Government’s lead economic and financial adviser, the Treasury provides advice to the Minister of Finance on infrastructure issues, primarily:
- the performance of the stock of physical assets that underpin the functioning of the economy, specifically network and utility systems such as transport, water, communications and energy; and
- the quality of investment in, and long-run management of, key infrastructure (including areas of large capital expenditure) such as schools, hospitals and prisons.
The Treasury also monitors the performance of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission - Te Waihanga, and provides advice to Ministers on the Commission’s long-term infrastructure strategy and other recommendations.