Budgeting analysis

Cost-benefit analysis, often loathed by Ministers, serves the public interest. It puts an onus on officials to show a project can plausibly deliver tangible and intangible benefits which are large enough to justify costs. [...]

Caution needed on value capture

As tempting it may appear to tap into land value uplifts, we need to be cautious. The model can work – but we need to apply it only in the cases where it can work. [...]

Challenges stack up for super minister

There is no more challenging task than making New Zealand’s cities thrive in the global era of urbanisation. Quite appropriately, we now have a superminister to deal with it. [...]

Location, Location, Location

I am not from Auckland, nor can I claim to be an expert on port operations, but I cannot help but wonder whether instead of talking about an extension of the port we should be talking about an entirely different question: Is the Port of Auckland really in the right spot? [...]

Why ferries should not be a political issue

A privatised Interislander would face the pressures of the market without any obstacles or lifelines from politics. It would also spare us from politicians judging or prescribing what ought to be commercial decisions of Interislander’s management. [...]

Infrastructure quality more important than speed

New Zealand should have a debate about its motorways. But by only talking about speed limits, we are having it back to front. Before discussing speed, we need to talk about the quality of our transport infrastructure. [...]

Unanswered infrastructure prayers

This week produced more news about big infrastructure projects for Sydney. A government inquiry warned that without a second airport, Sydney could face severe flight disruptions within a decade. According to the transport minister, Anthony Albanese, Kingsford Smith Airport is already operating at capacity. [...]