Hawkes Bay turns it on at conference

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Well the Registered Master Builders Federation conference is over for another year and what a resounding success it was.
I would personally like to thank all the sponsors and speakers for their support and contribution, and the Hawkes Bay Registered Master Builders Association for hosting it, and for their input and generosity.

We changed the format this year to make the topics and sessions more work and business focused, and those that attended, I am sure, left with more knowledge than when they arrived — and that is the outcome we wanted to achieve.

Next year we will be conferencing in Auckland, and will be working hard to improve again on this year’s effort.
Submissions on the Building Act Review discussion document have now closed. I hope many of you took the time to submit your views. The RMBF certainly did, and if you want to see what we think have a look online in the member’s section of our web site.

We agree with many of the proposals, but have some pretty strong views on the role and liability of the principal contractor and the positioning of home warranties.
These are important times in the construction sector, and the decisions the Government makes have the potential to change the landscape dramatically over the next year or so.
Weathertightness resolution is something that is high on everyone’s agenda. The Minister is hopeful of a funding solution (that may get announced in the Budget), and that will be great.

However, we are concerned with the implementation of the remedial fix-ups, the subsequent and potential ongoing liabilities of builders, and ensuring the repairs are the right repairs, so that we are not over or under-specifying the work. The country cannot afford to over-repair, and as the Minister of Finance keeps telling everyone, he is borrowing $250m a week as it is.

Remedial work is likely to take many years, and we do not want to be in the same position in five years’ time with ongoing leaks and problems. We have to fix these homes once and for all. and get this very sorry chapter in our construction history behind us.
On a different note, we are delighted that we have maintained a similar number of entries in the Registered Master Builders House of the Year in association with PlaceMakers for 2010 as we did for 2009.

This is the 20-year anniversary of the event, and with the very tough economic conditions last year we could have expected quite a drop. This shows the value of the event and the branding/market opportunity it provides our members, as it is a unique point of differentiation in the market (a key “positioning” strategy, if you read all the gurus on business).
While House of the Year entries have now closed, Apprentice of the Year in association with Carters entries have opened.

This event continues to gain momentum, and we are hoping for another record number of entries this year.
This is the showcase for the future of our industry, and an opportunity for all apprentices to set themselves apart from the pack and to pit their skills against their peers. It is a fantastic experience, and all the apprentices that I speak with cannot talk highly enough about it. So get into it!

I would like to close this note with a thank you to our outgoing president. Brent Mettrick was the president when I started in late 2008, and presided over the worst building conditions in 60 years.

He was an immense help to me, and he has worked tirelessly and selflessly for this organisation, not only during his term as president but for many years before that. I thank Brent for all his work and know, while he is no longer president, he will continue to be an active and valuable contributor to this business. Best wishes to you Brent.