23 March 2017

Policy Update – 23 February 2017

Our fortnightly policy updates keep you up-to-date with the industry.

Boards of Inquiry to decide on Northern Corridor Improvements Proposal and East-West Link Roading Proposal

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry have announced that Boards of Inquiry will decide on two significant Auckland roading projects, namely the Northern Corridor Improvements Proposal and East-West Link Roading Proposal.

The $700 million Northern Corridor project will complete Auckland’s Western Ring Route. It will establish motorway interchange connections between SH1 and SH18, and capacity and safety improvements on SH1 from Constellation Drive to Oteha Valley Road and on SH18 between SH1 and the Albany Highway.

The Board of Inquiry will consider the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) application for six notices of requirement and 25 resource consents for the project. Board of Inquiry members are:

  • Environment Judge Melanie Harland (chair)
  • Resource management consultant Conway Stewart
  • Civil engineer Nigel Mark-Brown have been appointed to

The $1.5 billion East-West Link roading proposal involves the construction of a new four-lane arterial road between State Highway 20, the Neilson Street Interchange and State Highway 1 at Mt Wellington.

The Board of Inquiry will consider NZTA’s application for two notices of requirement and 23 resource consents for the project. Board of Inquiry members are:

  • retired High Court Judge Hon Dr John Priestly QC (chair)
  • Environment management consultant Michael Parsonson
  • Civil engineer Alan Bickers
  • Independent hearings commissioner Sheena Tepania.

Find out more here.

Phase out of one-for-two emissions trading scheme subsidy begins

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has announced the start of a three-year phase out of the one-for-two emissions trading scheme subsidy. The subsidy allows some businesses to pay one emissions unit for every two tonnes of pollution they emit.

From 1 January this year the subsidy was changed, with the per unit cost increasing from 50 per cent to 67 per cent. From 1 January 2018 the rate will rise again to 83 per cent and all sectors in the emissions trading scheme will pay the full market price from 1 January 2019.

Find out more here.

Australia-New Zealand science and innovation agreement signed

New Zealand and Australia have agreed a bilateral international science agreement as a means of collaborating on innovation and science. The Australia – New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement will “bring new knowledge, ideas, people, technology and investment into New Zealand’s science and innovation system,” according to Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith.

Key initial proposals in the work programme include mapping collaborative research opportunities, research infrastructure planning and investment, standards and measurement research and the exchange of experts, knowledge and expertise.

The Agreement provides for a wide array of future initiatives such as common science priorities, working together in other international endeavours and the promotion of a trans-Tasman innovation ecosystem for talent and investment attraction.

Find out more here.

New Zealand to participate in Australasian satellite technology test-bed

The New Zealand Government is to contribute A$2 million towards the test-bed and trial programme.

The New Zealand and Australian Governments will be partners in a two-year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems, and an associated programme of trials. The Satellite Based Augmentation Systems is expected to improve air navigation, smartphone-based services, asset management and precision agriculture, and is expected to be needed for the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles.

“This is a world-leading trial that will allow us to investigate how New Zealand might benefit from the added precision SBAS adds to current and future global navigation satellite systems such as the widely used Global Positioning System,” Mr Bridges says.

“The test-bed and trials will be the first in the world to utilise next-generation Satellite Based Augmentation Systems technology, putting Australasia ahead of other parts of the world, and showing again why New Zealand is an ideal place to test new technologies”, the Minister says.

Find out more here