Infrastructure Minister seeks lessons from Australian industry leaders

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones will today travel to Melbourne with a group of New Zealand construction industry leaders, to learn about major project delivery and how the Australian industry and Victorian state government undertake workforce training.

Minister Jones will meet with the Victorian Skills Commissioner and Infrastructure Victoria, and visit large infrastructure projects. 

“We are interested in all aspects of how business, unions and the state government move large projects forward, but with a particular focus on how they address labour shortages and skills training,” Shane Jones said.

“We know this is a key challenge for us in New Zealand, and an area I’m passionate about as Infrastructure Minister.

“Our visit is timely as it coincides with the establishment of Te Waihanga, the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, which will provide both strategy and delivery advice to Ministers as well as developing a long-term infrastructure pipeline.

If we are going to address the glaring deficit in infrastructure planning, management and funding this government inherited, we will need to look at how other governments have ensured a consistent supply of well-trained, work-ready employees.

“The delegation was the initiative of the Amalgamated Workers Union of New Zealand, a leading construction industry union in New Zealand.

“I would like to congratulate Maurice Davis, National Secretary of the union for organising the delegation. If we are going to succeed in our vision of developing infrastructure increases the social and economic wellbeing of our nation workers, private sector entities and central and local government will need to work together closely.

“While in Melbourne I will also be meeting Shayne Elliott, the Chief Executive of the ANZ Banking Group. I look forward to a free and frank discussion with Mr Elliot about the role ANZ wants to play in the development of New Zealand’s regions,” Shane Jones said.

Notes to editor:

The New Zealand industry delegation accompanying Minister Jones is made up of:

  • Graeme Johnson, CEO, Fulton Hogan
  • Craig West, Executive General Manager, Downer/Hawkins NZ
  • Ric Herd, CEO, Naylor Love
  • Brett Murray, CEO Site Safe
  • David Simpson, General Manager, HEB Construction
  • Dave Bellet, Deputy Chief Inspector Extractives Work Safe
  • David Kelly, CEO Master builders Association NZ
  • Joe Fleetwood, General Secretary Maritime Union of New Zealand
  • Calvin Fisher, Regional Secretary Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand
  • Maurice Davis, National Secretary Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand