The first quarterly update report for the IRG programme can be downloaded here:
In April 2020, in the middle of New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown, the Government tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that were ready to start as soon as the construction industry returned to normal in order to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandamic.
The Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) was set up, consisting of highly experienced infrastructure leaders. The IRG steering group assessed and put forward to Ministers projects from the private and public sector which would have an immediate stimulatory effect on the construction industry, its workforce and the economy, and also included a mix of smaller projects that could demonstrate a direct and immediate benefit to the regional economies and communities in which they were based.
The IRG received submissions on 1,924 projects with a combined value of around $136 billion over a wide-ranging number of project types. Projects needed to show that they could be underway within 12 months from the date of funding being contracted, with material employment benefits and which provided national or regional public benefit.
The submitted projects were considered against these criteria. The IRG shovel ready announcement on 1 July 2020 identified 150 programmes/projects that were shortlisted to receive Government stimulus funding. These projects were then announced progressively since July 2020 in principle and subject to due diligence. Once the appropriate due diligence was completed the projects were then formally approved by Ministers for the release of funding.