Back in Time


20 years ago — May 1998:

New Zealand men chose to take unnecessary risks because of their macho attitudes to workplace accidents, according to Labour Minister Max Bradford when launching occupational safety and health qualifications.

The Minister said 14 deaths in the nine months to the end of March 1998 made the building industry one of the most hazardous to work in.

With apologies to the political incorrectness of the term, he referred to the “don’t be a girl” approach males often took to danger.

Mr Bradford said the industry needed to be more proactive about safety, and he was delighted with the BCITO initiative of putting in place occupational safety and health training.


15 years ago — May 2003:

The Registered Master Builders Federation Board and the Guarantee Company approved the introduction of the new Master Build Guarantee which was to come into effect in July 1998.

The new Guarantee, like the others before it, was compulsory for all work valued over $25,000.

RMBF chief executive Chris Preston reminded members of the compulsory nature of the Guarantee, and that not issuing one was against the rules of both the Guarantee Company and the Federation.


10 years ago — May 2008:

The BCITO introduced a tailor-made Carpentry Gateway package for students interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry.

Students were to work onsite for one to two days a week during the school term, and were to be equipped by their school with the resources they need (eg, a basic tool kit and the theory and practical learning assessment package).

The package included theory learning and practical application. The theory learning was done in the classroom and supported by on-site work experience. 

Gateway still is a government-funded secondary school programme designed to strengthen the pathway for students from school into the workplace. Year 11 to 13 students can take part in the programme to gain new skills and knowledge through work experience in their local community.

Offering part-time workplace experience and learning through the programme allows employers to “evaluate” potential new employees to see whether they will fit within their team in terms of ability and attitude.


5 years ago — May 2013:

Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium was named the Supreme Award winner in the inaugural New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.

New Zealand’s first under-cover stadium, and the world’s largest natural grass, permanently-covered stadium, it was originally opened for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

The project was carried out in an extremely challenging environment – attempting a whole series of innovations under rigid time and cost constraints, the judges said.

It only succeeded through meticulous planning, allied with a creative approach that saw the team continually searching for ways to “do it smarter”. It could easily have been a debacle, but instead was a magnificent tour de force, and was a credit to all involved, they said.

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