Media statement

Statement from the Chair of the National Infrastructure Advisory Board

The National Infrastructure Advisory Board (NIAB) was established to advise the National Infrastructure Unit (NIU) and the Minister for Infrastructure on issues relating to infrastructure project appraisal, capital asset management and the development of the National Infrastructure Plan. A key role for the board is to engage with the private sector, local government and other stakeholders.

The government appointed three new members to NIAB in August 2011, and re-appointed three existing members, bringing it up to full strength as a nine-member board. NIAB now consists of: Dr Rod Carr (Chair), Lindsay Crossen, Margaret Devlin, Kathryn Edmonds, Dr Arthur Grimes, Edward Guy, Dr Terence Heiler, John Rae, and Alex Sundakov.

The new members' backgrounds are:

Margaret Devlin - A Hamilton-based director who has spent a majority of her career within the infrastructure industry, both in the public and private sectors in New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK).  She has had particular involvement with issues relating to water, and contributed to the development of the water industry agenda with Government, regulators and investors in NZ and the UK.  She has represented the UK water industry at local, national and European levels.  Her current governance positions include Chair of Equity Partners Infrastructure Company Ltd (EPIC: a New Zealand-based infrastructure fund), Chair of the Institute of Directors (Waikato Branch), Deputy Chair of WEL Networks Ltd (and Chair of the Audit Committee), director of City Care Ltd and director of Harrison Grierson.  Ms Devlin has been appointed to NIAB because of her infrastructure background and specialist knowledge of water issues.

Kathryn Edmonds – A Wellington-based former practising Barrister and Solicitor, currently an Environment Commissioner of the Environment Court of New Zealand (first appointed in 2004).  Ms Edmonds was previously at Opus International Consultants, where she led the Environmental Division, which provided services in environmental engineering, hydrology, hydraulic structures, planning, landscape, heritage and ecology.  She has also worked as a consultant planner and has held a number of roles in the public service, including as advisor to previous Ministers for the Environment (1987-1990) and in senior management in the Ministry of Works and Development.  Ms Edmonds has been appointed due to her broad infrastructure experience and her working knowledge of relevant legislation (e.g. the Resource Management Act) and central and local government processes. 

Edward Guy - Based in Arrowtown and has 16 years experience working with a wide range of Crown, local government, private and jointly-owned infrastructure assets.  He is the founder of Rationale Ltd, which is an infrastructure consultancy business where he manages a team of infrastructure analysts/engineers.  His experience includes all aspects of asset management over numerous asset categories. Mr Guy has been appointed to NIAB due to his relevant asset management and engineering experience, combined with his working knowledge of local government.

Our 12 October meeting was an opportunity to welcome the new board members and to discuss a range of issues around the implementation of the 2011 National Infrastructure Plan and infrastructure in general. After the NIAB discussion, the new members and I also met with NIU management and staff to gain some first-hand knowledge of the unit and the issues it deals with.

The board will continue to meet approximately three times a year, providing insight and challenge to the NIU as the unit implements the 2011 National Infrastructure Plan and develops the next edition, due in 2014.

Dr Rod Carr
Chair, National Infrastructure Advisory Board