A clarion call from New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, CEO Ross Copland for decisionmakers to allow quarries to exist near urban centres is being applauded by the quarry sector.
In a keynote address to the QuarryNZ conference in Wellington today, Ross Copland said: “Our country has managed to create famine from plenty. New Zealand was blessed with abundant aggregates but ‘nimbyism’ and planning inaction had meant aggregate supply was under pressure.”
Mr Copland said there was a very strong environmental and economic case for locating quarries close to their markets as it reduced emissions and costs.
He believes the current blockage on quarries getting consents or even renewals ran against the environmental objectives of dealing with climate change. He signalled that improved strategic planning would feature in the Infrastructure Commission’s 30-year strategy, due in September, and this would help quarries.
He said it was important to remind people in central and local government that aggregate went into everything in infrastructure and encouraged the quarry sector to make its voice heard. “We need look at this issue with the facts and in a balanced way.”
He identified $61b in infrastructure projects already in the pipeline and even more will need to be spent to address New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit. “There are significant cost pressures emerging.”
Aggregate and Quarry Association CEO Wayne Scott says the industry has finally found a voice within Government.
“We have for years been telling Ministers and officials that if they didn’t start planning for quarries, New Zealand would end up without enough supply to build homes and roads. We are now seeing prices rise as supply is unable to meet the twin demands of a booming housing market and major Government spend on infrastructure.”
Contact: Wayne Scott firstname.lastname@example.org 021 944 336