Back in Time


20 years ago: 

The latest data for new dwelling units authorised for construction in New Zealand showed the number of residential building permits issued in July 1995 plummeted to their lowest level since December 1993. 


And the total of 1524 was also 23.3% lower than the figure for July 1994. The Westpac Bank’s Economic Overview said the July drop suggested that the downward trend in permits was continuing. 


The Reserve Bank had also since tightened monetary conditions twice during August in order to dampen inflationary pressures. However, some confusing signals were apparent, as the Westpac McDermott Consumer Confidence Index had risen 5.2% during the June 1995 quarter following three consecutive quarters of decline. 


15 years ago: 

A total of 34,613 calls were made to the RMBF’s freephone helpline in the 17 months to July 2000 — an average of 2036 calls per month. 


The largest number of calls were for validation of the Master Build Guarantee (9343), general information (6196), clients confirming their builder was an RMB (3542), requests from people for the names of RMBs in their area for work referrals (2937), enquiries from members about their recertification as an RMB (1477), stationery orders from members (1435), enquiries about the Master Build Guarantee (1238) and membership or guarantee enquiries from the Federation’s Regional Service Officers (1132). 


RMBF chief executive Chris Preston said the number of calls increased markedly whenever the Federation’s television commercials ran, illustrating the effectiveness of television in promoting RMBs. 


10 years ago: 

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) appointed Ruma Karaitiana as its new chief executive. Mr Karaitiana, who is still in the position in 2015, was working as a consultant and as acting chief executive of Manfeild Raceway in Palmerston North. 


BCITO Board chairman Peter Robson said Mr Karaitiana was a strong advocate for skills development. “Ruma will bring passion and enthusiasm to our organisation, building on our successes and achievements by continuing to deliver the training and skill outcomes sought by industry, key partners and stakeholders,” Mr Robson said. 


5 years ago: 

Accountability in the construction industry was a key message promoted by the Construction Strategy Group (CSG), an organisation comprised of high-level executives actively engaged in the sector. CSG chairman Richard Aitken, chairman of engineering consultancy Beca Group Ltd, said the extent of defective housing in the 1980s and 1990s highlighted a breakdown in quality performance. “The industry is responsible for some 5% of GDP. 


Inherent in its business performance is a multiplier employment ripple through the economy when new homes and commercial buildings are being built at steadily increasing rates,” Mr Aitken said. “A 10% to 20% lift in new home construction above today’s recessionary levels will spark hundreds of much needed new jobs. 


We aim to see that accountability is embraced and ingrained across the sector,” he said.

Previous articleSeminars focus on risks of using non-compliant steel
Next articleLooking back: The LBP Board’s first appeal