Transport and Infrastructure                                           


  • Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University


  • Campbell Barbour - General Manager Commercial, NZ Retail Property Group
  • Warren Maclennan - Manager North West Planning, Auckland Council
  • Ernst Zollner - Regional Director Auckland/Northland, NZ Transport Agency

Key Points:

  • Importance of leadership, especially politically, if growth ambitions are to be achieved.
  • If development is made difficult in established/built area, then private sector will migrate to easier build sites on the edge of Auckland.
  • Major retail hubs at Westgate and Albany will dominate future northern growth.
  • Aspirations need to be met by ability to deliver and pragmatic deliverables.
  • How do you win hearts and minds in terms of difficult decisions and required development?
  • There is a significant lag between planning and provision.
  • One major change that has occurred is that retailers who were opposed to public transport provisions now see significant benefits.
  • Albany, in terms of a 15-20 minute drive, has 25,000 new household units planned for the future, which translates to an additional population catchment of 60,000-70,000 people.
  • Hard infrastructure is quite straightforward to plan for but how do you build soft infrastructure (communities)? Are roads a barrier to community making?  How do you plan for community when there is so much ethnic diversity? There is often a focus on hard infrastructure at the expense of soft infrastructure. 
  • Growth presents major challenges in terms of environmental quality.
  • Tendency to focus on building motorways at the expense of other elements of transport (no integrated model).
  • Planning horizon tends to disappear when you get to the edges of current growth.  Tend to play catch-up.
  • In terms of providing infrastructure for growth, the challenge is whether you turn up too early? Too late?  And who pays for it?
  • Do we utilise what we already have in terms of infrastructure? Emphasis is on a “build” agenda to cope with growth (an Auckland phenomena) rather than considering optimisation (increasingly the case elsewhere in New Zealand).