It’s time for councils to pick up their 2018 infrastructure strategies and decide how to go about updating and improving them. Key steps in the process are:

  • scoping
  • interviews with staff to identify what has changed since the 2018 strategy was drafted
  • putting it all together in a revised version
  • review of the amended strategy
  • approval of the strategy.

Suggestions for your scoping process

  • Look at the 2018 infrastructure strategies prepared by other councils with similar strategic issues to your council.
  • Ask the policy planners at your council for details of any research they have commissioned, or policy development they are working on, which could be relevant to the strategic issues in your Infrastructure Strategy — both to ensure alignment and to promote a collaborative approach. (There’s nothing planners hate more than developing policy that is then undermined by infrastructure decisions, so they’re likely to be very willing to help!)
  • Look at the 2018 infrastructure strategies of better-resourced councils. They may have had more staff/consultant time available to research issues your council is also facing.
  • Consider the range of policy and legislation changes that have been introduced or proposed since 2015, particularly related to transport (new priorities in the Government Policy Statement), climate change (the Zero Carbon Act) and freshwater management (including proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for freshwater management).
  • Brainstorm what has changed in the past three years.
  • Consider what new information you now have in your Asset Management Plans and other documents.
  • Think about the structure of your document — do you clearly identify the most significant challenges and the preferred approaches to address them?
  • If your team is stretched for time, consider getting help with the drafting of new text. Your asset engineers’ time may be better spent on providing specialist input than crafting the overall document.