Local Government infrastructure group appointed

  • David Carter
Local Government

Local Government Minister David Carter has today announced an independent expert advisory group to help local government provide more cost effective infrastructure.

The eight-member group is one of the initiatives outlined in the Better Local Government reform programme announced earlier this year.

Mr Carter says the Local Government Infrastructure Efficiency Expert Advisory Group will focus on reducing the cost of quality local government infrastructure.

“This will feed into the broader reform programme underway which aims to provide clarity around the role of councils, stronger governance and improved efficiency and financial management.”

The advisory group will be chaired by Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair, Fran Wilde. Other members are Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development; Jeremy Sole, Chief Executive of New Zealand Contractors Federation; Josephine Grierson, businesswoman and infrastructure economics expert; Liz Anderson, Infrastructure and Policy Consultant; Debbie Packer, former Deputy Mayor of South Taranaki; Philip Cory-Wright, director, infrastructure company advisor and investment banker; and Alan Bickers, former local government chief executive and engineer.

“The wealth of experience of these members, within the private sector and local government, will be an asset in improving the cost/benefit implications of future local government infrastructure decisions,” says Mr Carter.

The expert advisory group will report back in February 2013. That report will feed into a second piece of local government reform legislation planned for next year.

Members of Local Government Infrastructure Efficiency Expert Advisory Group

Fran Wilde QSM CNZM (Chair) Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council and former Wellington City Council Mayor. Fran was a Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament from 1981–1992, and a former Chair of Housing New Zealand, Wellington Waterfront Limited and Chief Executive of Trade New Zealand.

Stephen Selwood Chair of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development and member of the Minister for the Environment’s Infrastructure Technical Advisory Group in 2010. Stephen has served on many boards including Cleft NZ, the former Auckland Regional Council’s Economic Development Agency, Business New Zealand Energy Forum and Employers and Manufacturing Association Infrastructure Policy Committee.

Liz Anderson Director of Liardet Advisory Limited, a company that provides public and private sector infrastructure advice. Liz is a former Director of Hyder Consulting and a former General Manager at the Ministry of Transport. She was formerly with the Tasmanian State Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Natural Resources.

Josephine Grierson Company Director of Waiwera Limited and several food and primary industry related companies. Josephine is also a Member of the Commerce Commission (Energy Division). A former Director for Discount Brands Limited and MetroWater, Josephine was also Group Manager of Corporate Strategy at Enerco New Zealand. She has worked as an economic consultant for New Zealand utility companies.

Jeremy Sole Chief Executive of the New Zealand Contractors Federation. Previously a business consultant and due diligence assessor for a range of companies, Jeremy also served on the Minister of Transport’s Road Maintenance Taskforce and is an Elected Companion of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

Alan Bickers Engineering, infrastructure and management consultant based in Tauranga. Alan has worked as a consultant for 20 years, after nearly 25 years in local government. Alan was the former Chief Executive of the Tauranga City Council and former City Engineer at Palmerston North City Council. He previously chaired Transit New Zealand and is the current chair of the Building Practitioners Board and the Plumber, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

Philip Cory-Wright Director and owner of Sigglesthorne Consulting Limited. Philip has considerable experience as a corporate finance director for New Zealand investment banks on debt and equity projects. Currently the Director of South Port and independent director of the Local Government Funding Agency, Philip is also a strategic advisor to clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Debbie Packer (Ngāti Ruanui and Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi). Over 20 years’ management experience including in Māori development and local government. Debbie is a former Deputy Mayor of the South Taranaki District Council. Her current roles include Director-Chair of Ngāti Ruanui Holdings Limited, an iwi investment company. Debbie is currently on the Local Government Efficiency Taskforce.