Skill shortage hampers rebuild


President Julian Mace says the biggest problem is finding quantity surveyors with appropriate practical work experience.

Online job advertisements for quantity surveyors increased 26% over 12 months from June 2013.

Since 2009-10 around 560 visa and work permits have been approved for quantity surveyors to enter New Zealand.

Properly experienced

“Yes, we need more quantity surveyors, but they must be well qualified and properly experienced.”

Mr Mace says quantity surveyors immigrating to New Zealand often have valuable offshore experience of large scale buildings, developments and infrastructure that is useful given what’s happening in Christchurch.

However, he says the NZIQS is hearing reports of unqualified and inexperienced quantity surveyors doing work that is not up to standard and to the detriment of customers.

Rigorous quality assurance

“We do urge people and organisations to engage a quantity surveyor who is a member of the New Zealand Institute.

“The Institute has rigorous quality assurance criteria, which means customers can be assured of the practitioner’s skills and experience and, if anything does go wrong, the Institute provides a disciplinary process.”

Quantity surveyors are already on the immigration department’s skills shortage list, indicating the Government is actively encouraging skilled workers in that profession.

“The building boom in New Zealand will continue for many years yet and quantity surveyors will be in demand.”

Mr Mace says the lack of appropriately qualified and experienced quantity surveyors is hampering building work where it is most needed — in Christchurch and Auckland.

“There are significant career opportunities for the foreseeable future, for men and women,” he says.

The Government’s Occupation Outlook 2015 report says there are 2150 quantity surveyors in New Zealand, and that the engineer professionals sector is tipped to grow at just under 4% a year for the next several years.

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