Local infrastructure, such as roads and water/wastewater networks, form the backbone of the local economy. They enable the movement of people and goods, provide essential drinking water, and take care of the wastewater generated by local households and businesses. However, the cost of providing local infrastructure is often very high, which raises the issue of how it should be funded. Most local infrastructure is funded by Councils in the first instance, with the costs gradually recovered from ratepayers and property developers via various funding tools over time.
We are New Zealand’s leading economic experts on local infrastructure, having successfully completed more than 80 projects for Council and developer clients. Our expertise includes designing and implementing funding policies, developing and deploying infrastructure funding models, and providing input to Central Government reviews of local infrastructure.
We have reviewed various options for funding local infrastructure projects on behalf of several Councils, including analysing the trade-off between upfront mechanisms (like DCs) and more spread out options, such as targeted rates. We also have significant experience in analysing the likely impacts of new funding tools, such as the Government’s recent Infrastructure Funding and Financing initiative.
We have helped write and implement DC policies for several Councils, including regularly consulting to a handful of long-term clients as they continue to update and refine their DC policies over the last 10 to 15 years.
We have developed an excel-based funding model that calculates the DC charges by activity and catchment based on a range of user-supplied inputs. The model also enables DC revenues received to be applied against DC projects so that only the net amount owing is used to calculate future charges. This model is currently being used by various Councils across New Zealand.
We have helped to negotiate private developer agreements for infrastructure in excess of $100 million, and have also acted as independent “arbiters” in disputes arising between Council and developers over DC liability.
We also regularly provide customised modelling and advice on a range of local infrastructure funding topics on an as-needed basis.
What Our Clients Say
When it comes to knowledge, experience and expertise with regards to development contributions, Fraser Colegrave is a person that you can trust. As a property developer we often challenge the development contributions policy through the fairness and equity lens. Fraser is a respected professional by many district councils and his demeanour allows him to navigate and challenge development contribution policy for the benefit of his clients. Fraser is also very balanced in his views therefore making his recommendations much more palatable and accepted. I have no issues endorsing Fraser and his offers of service
Matamata-Piako District Council has engaged with Insight Economics over several years to assist with its Development Contributions Policy and more recently to prepare a Business Friendly Assessment. We have found the team to have the knowledge, experience, professionalism, and attention to detail we needed.
I worked closely with Fraser on a number of substantial tasks over the period 2011-2016 at Hamilton City Council. He provided invaluable analysis on Development Contributions which is a complex and contested regulatory environment, including peer review of a large and multi-dimensional calculation and growth model, development of a infrastructure cost allocation methodology, cost/benefit analysis, and critical advice relating to risk and litigation avoidance. In addition, Fraser is friendly, hard working and highly intelligent, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. I strongly recommend his services and I hope to work with him again in the future.
Waikato District Council has worked with Fraser on policy and financial modelling projects since 2007. Fraser is solutions focused and we have appreciated the practicality of his approach on development contribution matters. We consider Fraser to have a unique skill set and will continue to work with him in the future.