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Call for second super ministry 'worth investigating'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The idea of creating a Ministry for Infrastructure has now been raised at two urban development forums in Wellington and has the support of new advocacy group, Future Built NZ.

"Creating a Ministry for Infrastructure - with a specific focus on urban development - would seem to be a logical next step for the current Government to take," says Future Built NZ spokesperson Stephen Olsen.

"At the very least the principle could be explored at the same time as due diligence is being carried out for the proposed new super ministry proposed in March. There is a strong logic to viewing New Zealand's infrastructure policy and decision making arms as a whole - which would mean combining aspects of our transport focused agencies with agencies such as the Ministry for the Environment which has nominal responsibilities for urban development and resource management. In addition it shouldn't be too late to reconsider a new Ministry for Infrastructure as a much better home for the Department of Building and Housing".

"The current Government has instituted a National Infrastructure Plan which, with further work, could provide an underpinning for a Ministry for Infrastructure".

A report from a Sustainable Cities workshop held at Te Papa on Monday 26 March notes discussion of this idea, and it was also raised in general discussion at last week's national gathering of the Urban Design Forum, also at Te Papa on Friday 30 March. A concern was expressed at the workshop by Philippa Howden-Chapman, director of the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities, at the clear absence of a central government agency in New Zealand that sees urban development and sustainable cities as a priority part of its brief.

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