Based on the experience of Kiwibuild, wiseacres chortle at the prospect of another Ministry of Works to design and build New Zealand infrastructure from highways and motorways to airports, power stations and railways.
The prospect was raised in a Newsroom report which said:
Ministers are rushing to prevent the country’s construction sector hollowing out under coronavirus lockdown.
However, they’ve also admitted the state’s role in construction will massively expand in a way unheard of in several generations. That could include turning Crown Infrastructure Partners into a new Ministry of Works-style government department.
Answering questions on whether the Ministry of Works would be revived at the end of the country’s Covid-19 recovery Twyford said he “wouldn’t want to rule out that more hands-on approach”, and Jones said he was strongly in favour of it.
The quotes came from Transport Minister Phil Twyford (previously associated with a failure to meet Kiwibuild targets) and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones (who will be judged, among other things, on his success in meeting the billion trees target).
Before the idea of a new Ministry of Works is judged on the strength of those ministers’ connection with it, let’s reflect on how it actually operated.
Continue reading “Restoring the Ministry of Works may be the answer to recovery challenges when the lock-down is lifted”