The Cost of Delay in Infrastructure Decisions


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Event Details

The costs associated with delayed decision-making for large infrastructure projects in New Zealand has significant implications for future generations.

In an industry first, Infrastructure New Zealand has partnered with Principal Economics to quantify the economic cost of delays in infrastructure decisions. Using their subregional computational general equilibrium model, Principal Economics estimated a total of $334 million in forgone benefits to New Zealand businesses and communities from each year of delay in the completion of the Waikato Expressway.

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The investigation of a range of past projects showed the potential for decreasing the current 15-year completion timeframe to 8 years. In case of the Waikato Expressway, this 7-year timesaving could have saved $2.3 billion. This suggests that the minimum forgone benefit from delays in decision-making is about 1.2 times the total capital cost of the Waikato Expressway project. The report recommends various solutions for improving the timeliness of infrastructure decisions.

Join us for this launch, co-hosted with WSP, in Auckland on 19 October as we showcase our new report, Great decisions are timely: Benefits from more efficient infrastructure investment decision-making. We will hear from Dr Eilya Torshizian from Principal Economics, as well as panellists Sean Myers from WSP, Chris Money from EY, and Geoff Cooper from Te Waihanga, who will discuss their views and comment on the report's wider relevance.

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Presenter Details

Facilitator - Michelle McCormick, Policy Director, Infrastructure New Zealand

Michelle is an experienced policy and planning professional with over 25 years in mainly central government roles. Most recently she was the Transport Policy Manager at Waka Kotahi / New Zealand Transport Agency, leading a diverse programme covering a range of strategic, regulatory, and investment policy.  Michelle also received sector recognition leading the public transport COVID19 National Emergency Response.  In previous roles as Integrated Land-use and Transport Planning Manager and Acting National Planning Manager, Michelle managed the Agency’s RMA national planning work, including National Significant Projects consenting paths, consenting cost research, and regional transport initiatives to support economic development programmes.

Michelle is Wellington based which will facilitate close relationships with government departments and agencies.
Michelle holds a Master of Philosophy in Environmental and Resource Planning from Massey University and a Master of Transport Management from the University of Sydney.
She is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Eilya Torshizian, Director, Principal Economics 

Eilya is the Founding Director of Principal Economics - a leading economic consultancy providing evidence-based decision support for public and private sector clients. Eilya works on a range of topics of national significance around infrastructure, transport, housing, inequality, climate change, social policy, and disruptive technologies (amongst other topics). Eilya has a PhD in Urban Economics and teaches at the University of Auckland from time to time. For Eilya’s more extensive bio and list of reports, see here

Sean Myers, Head of Rail and Transit, WSP 

Sean leads rail and transit infrastructure projects in the Australian and New Zealand market.
He is an industry leader in strategic planning for urban networks, including option selection and feasibility assessment for new corridors.
Sean has advised clients on capacity enhancement assessments for existing networks and step-change asset management programs. He has led numerous multi-disciplinary projects in New Zealand such as City Rail Link, Papakura to Pukekohe and Wiri to Quay Park business cases.

Chris Money, Partner, EY

Chris is a Partner in the EY Infrastructure Advisory team and also leads EY New Zealand’s Economics practice. He brings over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sector in New Zealand and abroad.

Chris’ main areas of focus are business cases for infrastructure and the economics of cities. He has worked on a range of major projects, including City Rail Link, Lets Get Wellington Moving, and a number of major projects in the Health and Defence sectors. A significant focus is changing the way we think about assessing major projects and the dynamic response of people and communities to infrastructure investment. 

Geoff Cooper, GM Strategy, Te Waihanga

Geoff Cooper has a background in global policy having worked for the United Nations, the United States Treasury and the Federal Reserve. He is a former Chief Economist for Auckland Council, where he worked on infrastructure, housing, regulation and financial policy. More recently, as Chief Economist at PwC, Geoff has contributed to the economic appraisal of a range of large infrastructure projects, including Wellington’s Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme, Auckland Light Rail, Hamilton to Auckland High Speed Rail and Queenstown’s Way to Go programme. Geoff holds a Master of Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University. 


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