Carbon emissions — what’s that got to do with us?


What has carbon and the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) got to do with us?


You might well say nothing, but think again! This scheme will be an expense passed on to us and, ultimately, our clients, if not this year then in years to come.


Not until we understand the impact of this scheme and its costs will we realise the significance of ever-reducing affordability our clients face every day.


Just 10 years ago the median house value was $167,000 — today it’s more than $300,000.


A report by the Ministry for the Environment stated that construction and demolition accounted for 27% of landfill solid waste.* We’re kidding ourselves if we think there won’t be a price tag attached to this going forward.


We need to know the impact of the waste our industry creates and how the potential cost of that risk can be mitigated for us as builders and, ultimately, our clients.


There are a lot of questions that we need to be asking around this concept of trading “carbon credits” or NZU (New Zealand Units) as they’re called here.


For example, could we sell a home and keep the NZU, or could we sell them? Could a low or no carbon home be the ultimate in home affordability, both in cost price and cost to run?


I suggest the industry is ready to explore and prepare for the effects of the ETS. We need to look for the opportunities on how best to work with an inevitability facing our industry.


As president of the RMBF, I ask BRANZ, MoE, DBH, NZGBC and other like-minded parties to start to plan our way forward to address this issue before it addresses us.


Apprentice of the Year

In the past month I have had the pleasure of attending a number of Apprentice of the Year regional awards. This event has become, for me, one of the most rewarding events of the industry. It strikes at the centre of the industry’s future, passing our skills on to the next generation.


In 10 regions, 10 finalists were selected. They were visited and put through their paces by regional judges who, once again, gave up their time willingly. The local winner is eventually selected and will represent their region at the national finals in Wellington on 22-23 October.


Registered Master Builders stands for building excellence, and that’s exactly what these young people stand for too. Well done to all of you apprentices who stood up and allowed yourselves to be pitted against your peers — that’s leadership in the making!


A special thanks to Carters, BCITO and DBH for their unwavering support to this programme. We all appreciate your commitment to the future.


* MoE Solid Waste Composition — Environmental Report Card July 2009, based on four indicator landfill sites.


• For more information on the Emissions Trading Scheme go to

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