Dispelling the myths of advocacy

Registered Master Builders Association chief executive David Kelly

Many of you will be aware (particularly those of you who read their profiles in Building Today last month) that I have recently welcomed to the team new business services and membership head Brian Rosenberg, and policy and advocacy manager Matthew Aileone (despite their allegiances to the Blues and Crusaders!).

I believe their addition to the senior leadership team is a step change in how we deliver value to our members and how we promote their interests with the Government.

I would like to focus on advocacy. This means different things to different people, and something that is often misunderstood. But to me it’s an important part of leadership — indeed, it is one of the RMBA’s key strategic pillars.

In simple terms, it is about being the voice for builders and the sector, and ensuring our views are well presented.

An important part of advocacy is developing key relationships with strategic partners and engaging with the Government. It is important to dedicate real energy and effort to advocacy to ensure that RMBA members’ interests are put forward.

To ensure advocacy is credible, a big part of the policy and advocacy role is engaging with our members to ensure that when we do engage with Government it is based on their views.

After all, our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and can really play a role in shaping reforms that affect the construction sector.

You can expect to hear much more from Mr Aileone in the form of updates on regulatory changes that the RMBA is engaging in, but he is also interested in your views.

He is only an email away (matthew.aileone@masterbuilder.org.nz) if you do want to contact him directly about government policy, or rules that are affecting your day-to-day business.

In the meantime, we are looking at how we can fully utilise the expertise we have in our residential and commercial working groups. We are also looking at how we can use Offsite better to post updates, and also to invite views from members.

One final note — many of you will be aware of what’s been happening regarding Stonewood Homes. I appreciate this is not an ideal situation for all those involved, particularly the home owners. But I wanted to assure you that we have planned for this rainy day.

I have made it clear that the RMBA’s priority is to ensure that homes are built, and we stand by ready to honour the Master Build Guarantees that are in place.

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