Grant Holland, Infrastructure Management Advisor, attended the IPWEA International Asset Management Congress from 14 to 15 June 2023.
The 2023 IPWEA International Asset Management Congress showcased world-class and innovative Asset Management practices.
Leading the AM Journey and Enabling a scalable and consistent approach were the two main focuses of the Congress.
“As a team of asset managers, we build communities. It’s as simple and as complex as that!” This was the key message from keynote Rachel Chambers at the IPWEA International Asset Management Congress on the Gold Coast.
Waugh Infrastructure Management Limited understands the importance of keeping up with global asset management issues and best practices, so we sent Grant Holland to the recent Australian conference to gather inspiration and information.
We were reminded by Chris Morrill of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the need to move from “heroic leadership to collaborative leadership” and that projects should be shovel-worthy, not shovel-ready. That was music to my ears and a song sheet we should all be singing from!
During the plenary sessions, Grant attended a few specific practitioner presentations. From there, he noted that:
- The Australian practice is focused on identifying the assets in the worst condition so they can be fixed.
- Canada benefits from investment in learning with NAMs+ providing a knowledge foundation.
- The USA remains in Asset Management infancy. Investment frameworks still do not seem to drive AM practice.
- The United Kingdom appears more focused on climate change as part of infrastructure management than others are.
By comparison, New Zealand is leading with optimisation, understanding trade-offs, and developing robust business cases.
Grant wrapped up his report by saying several speakers reminded the attendees that climate change action is needed now – mitigation and adaptation.
Of course, this is something we often hear, so when will the action come, and who will force it?
The challenges of managing and investing in infrastructure are faced across the globe, as highlighted at the Congress.
New Zealand has been having a robust debate, led by the Infrastructure Commission, on the size of the infrastructure investment gap, options to close that gap, and how we will be able to resource the required work physically.
These are good challenges that infrastructure management professionals, peak bodies, government agencies, local authorities and New Zealand’s communities will continue to work out for the foreseeable future.
Note: Jodie’s article was first published on Waugh Infrastructure Management’s LinkedIn page.