A think piece on QLDC’s challenges with the 21-24 NLTP and the road ahead. Alison Tomlinson, Queenstown Lakes DC


Over the last decade the Queenstown Lakes District has faced rapid growth in residential population, commercial development and visitors; the investment in infrastructure had not kept pace and resulted in a deficit of infrastructure that does not meet the community need.  Our transport system is one of the key areas that needs addressing.   QLDC have been working collaboratively with the community and our investment partners to strategise, plan and develop programmes to address our infrastructure needs.
In 2020 we were ready for the 2021-24 NLTP and primed to start the ‘doing’.  Then the Covid 19 pandemic happened.  In the busiest part of our funding cycle, we, like the rest of NZ were faced with responding to the pandemic.  Lockdown brought conflict between family and work lives, others faced with uncertainty for the future as unemployment and changing work practices became part of business as usual.   The outlook wasn’t good, as COVID and the resulting border closures had shone a spotlight on the community’s enormous reliance on tourism.  Suddenly, our district went from boom heading towards what looked like inevitable bust.
For our NLTP (and LTP) submission, our local funding was challenged and as we looked towards our investment partners, the funding opportunities look bleak.  But, the need for investment is still there, and it needs to enable the ambitions for a new district – more sustainable tourism, economic diversification and tackling climate change.
So, where do we go from here?

Senior Asset manager (Transportation) at Queenstown Lakes District Council. 
Alison has been at QLDC for five years, living in the paradise that is Wanaka.  Although from Wellington, NZ, she spent her early career living and working in North Wales, UK.  After stints with parks, highway maintenance and street works, she developed and led the Conwy County Borough Council’s first Highways asset management team.  This was soon expanded to include asset management services and asset system management to the neighbouring Denbighshire County  Council and later expanded to council’s non highway assets.   Alison has a strong belief in evidence led decision making and that good data underpins those decisions.


Unblocking the flow of data. Danny Fitzgerald, Fulton Hogan


Organisations who are strongly focused on data-driven decision making have four per cent higher productivity overall, and six per cent higher profits, according to the Harvard Business Review.  Data-driven, or evidence based, decision making relies on the provision of timely, accurate, useful information, however many organisations still struggle to facilitate the healthy management practices that are required to underpin good quality data.  In this presentation, Fulton Hogan will reflect on our experience of providing a live drainage inspections dashboard to over thirty road maintenance contracts across New Zealand.  Poor data management in relation to these assets has the potential to impact our renewal programme development, investment decision making, asset valuations and Level of Service delivery.  We will share what we believe are the hurdles to good quality data, and what we have done to tackle them, to ensure the data contained in this and other critical datasets are fit for purpose.

Danny Fitzgerald is the Information Systems Manager for Road Maintenance at Fulton Hogan.  He is passionate about pairing people with technology, and is responsible for identifying, and subsequently implementing, technology that improves the efficiency of Fulton Hogan’s road maintenance business in New Zealand.


Paving the way for a Digital Engineering future – Waka Kotahi’s New Zealand Transport Agency Asset Management Data Standard. David Darwin, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency


Paving the way for a Digital Engineering future, the Asset Management Data Standard (AMDS) programme is a collaborative programme between the NZ Transport Agency and The Road Efficiency Group that aims to improve the management of land transport infrastructure asset information.  The programme will develop and implement a national data standard, establishing a common language the sector can share so we can make the best decisions about New Zealand’s land transport assets. . This standard will realise significant benefits through improved efficiencies, networking planning and resilience.

David Darwin is the Lead Investment Planning Advisor for the Transport Services group in Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency.
He is responsible for the asset management operational policy and the technical standards and through those for the value for money frameworks used through the development & delivery of the annual programme of works.  He is a Chartered Professional civil engineer. He is experienced in infrastructure asset management including the development of the state highway maintenance programme, development of asset information systems, management of transport and drainage business units, and development of the National Land Transport Plan.

One network framework service outcomes and performance. Informing decision making. Adele Jones, WSP

This presentation will provide an overview of the One Network Framework (ONF) Service Outcomes and Performance Framework which includes Service Outcomes aligned to the Ministry of Transport’s, Transport Outcomes Framework and provides a library of performance measures to assist in decision-making across the transport system.
This Road Efficiency Group (REG) led project provides the next evolution of the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) system, which has become a core element of the New Zealand land transport management system over the past eight years, providing a consistent and well-understood classification baseline for a wide range of planning processes.
ONF provides a further culture change that brings ‘Movement and Place’ together in classifying our networks, tol allow us to better consider different mode priorities, surrounding land use, community wellbeing, economic activity and network aspirations.
The development of a new Service Outcomes and Performance Framework to help inform decision-making and monitor transport trends across our communities is a critical part of the ONF evolution. It is designed to sit alongside and give purpose to ONF street families and road classes. The street families have been used as the basis for understanding how location may impact Service Outcomes and performance. This allows us to determine which Service Outcomes, and hence measures, apply to which areas of a network.
ONF Service Outcomes and Performance pulls together elements of several key performance frameworks into a single space. This presentation will show how these frameworks have been considered, in developing performance measures to sit alongside the ONF outcomes. The project is now moving into a stage of identifying measure parameters and data requirements. This process is being completed collaboratively with other Waka Kotahi projects, including the Benefits Framework.

Over the years, Adèle has provided asset management advisory services to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Road Efficiency Group, as well as numerous New Zealand local authorities. This work has included national and regional level strategic asset management planning, and development of Activity Management Plans and Long-Term Plans, supporting investment decision making.
Adèle recently spent two years in Canada working on projects with Edmonton International Airport, the Yukon Government Transportation Division, Alberta Transportation and various other municipalities, providing strategic planning advice and assisting in the development of asset management programmes and performance-based contracts.  Many of these projects included significant focus on aligning with the International Standard for asset management, ISO 55000 series.
Adèle has been involved in REG’s One Network Framework project development team over the last year, particularly focussing on development of the Service Outcomes and Performance framework.




Getting it right – continually improving the sectors data quality. Tony Lange


Data is increasingly important in underpinning the New Zealand’s transport sectors approach to consistent levels of service, asset management and investment decision making.
The Road Efficiency Group (REG) is still working hard to help the sector improve the quality of New Zealand’s transport-related data to support evidence-based decision-making and lift investor confidence through robust data.
The latest 2019/20 data quality assessment has shown a positive improvement in data quality across the country; however, there is more work to be done by the sector to continually improve their data to support their asset management, AMPs and LTP’s.
While REG is annually assessing and reporting the data quality results nationally and for each Road Controlling Authority, we are also focused on helping the sector to continually improve its data quality.
As there is still a long way to go to get it right.  REG has continued its focus on the production of guidance and case studies to help RCAs overcome their data quality challenges.
This presentation will focus on how we can achieve better data quality across New Zealand and will consider;

  1. Where data quality is improving and where there are still some challenges.
  2. How some RCAs have been able to improve their data quality.
  3. The tools and guidance we have prepared to help RCAs, what are we doing now and what’s next?

Tony is a Senior Investment Auditor with NZTA tasked with the assessment of maintenance and Low Cost Low Risk programmes across NZ. Are these work programmes delivering a fit for purpose network that is safe, meets the needs of users and is affordable?
Tony has been in this role for 13 years and prior to this was an Area Engineer for Christchurch City Council. Some would say he was a poacher and is now a gamekeeper.
Tony enjoys rugby, cycling and motorsport.


The use of genetic algorithms in Road Maintenance Optimisation. Fritz Jooste, Lonrix

The solution to the problem of finding an optimal set of road maintenance strategies under a multi-year budget constraint is exceedingly complex. Over the past few decades many different approaches to this problem have been implemented – these include linear programming, dynamic programming and – more recently – genetic algorithms. The latter type of model is particularly interesting since it mimics the evolutionary principle of selecting the “fittest” solutions from a population of candidate solutions, and then progressively evolving towards a near-optimal solution. A key feature of genetic algorithms in the road maintenance context is that some formulations allow the optimization problem to be approached at the segment and network level at the same time. Genetic algorithms are also capable of handling complex constraint sets that may not be feasible in more traditional optimization techniques. In this presentation, a highly visual and interesting introduction to genetic algorithms will be presented. The background and key elements of genetic algorithms will be presented together with some example problems and solutions. The strengths and weaknesses of genetic algorithms will be discussed in the context of road maintenance optimization. The presentation concludes with specific suggestions for how genetic algorithms can potentially be used in deterioration models in New Zealand.

Fritz Jooste has been working in the field of pavement design and asset management for more than 20 years. He earned his PhD from Texas A&M University in 1997 and since then has been involved primarily in research and with the development of systems related to pavement design and asset management. Fritz is a founder and director of Juno Services Ltd and Lonrix Ltd.


How do I measure up? Grant Holland, Waugh Infrastructure Management Ltd

The evidence base is the foundation of good decision making.
This session will springboard from the Performance Management Guideline launch and reflect on the day’s speakers.
It is intended to link together the discussions and topics covered, while challenging forum participants.

Grant Holland is an Asset Management specialist with a wide variety of experience in Local Government AM and Engineering.  Grant has been employed by Waugh Infrastructure Management Ltd since August 2004 and works with a range of Local Authorities throughout New Zealand. He is also working with clients in Australia, Niue and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Deb’s Diversity Download. Dr Deborah Lind


Deborah leads a regular member focused session at Northern Branch meetings of IPWEA NZ. These sessions provide a platform for sharing global, national and local thought leadership in diversity and inclusion. There is no time more important to take bold leaps in attracting people to our resource short sector, and ensuring that infrastructure design and services meet the needs of everyone in our communities. Join Deborah and your peers for this entertaining and insightful session.

Deborah is passionate about promoting infrastructure as a career opportunity and driving diversity and inclusion within our sector.
She has a reputation for delivering successful outcomes, introducing best practice and innovation to NZ. She is an IPWEA Excellence Award winner, on the Board of Water New Zealand and a regular conference speaker.
In an attempt to have more letters after her name than in her name, she is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Chemist, a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Directors.
Her alter ego “Deb Lind” is a theatre director, producer, actor and singer.