20 years ago — July 1998:
• The need for a revamp of the structure of the Registered Master Builders Federation was raised in a discussion paper which suggested that the existence of 22 associations “appears something of an extravagance”.
The paper was written by Taranaki Registered Master Builders Association secretary Ken Martin, and was to be considered by the RMBF’s marketing committe as part of an overall strategic planning exercise.
He asked whether 22 separate associations were a luxury the Federation could afford, pointing out that most served very small memberships
“Contrast this with Federated Farmers, where 18,000 members are now served by two centralised offices,” Mr Martin said. Prior to their restructuring earlier in 1998, farmers were served by 24 provincial associations, with 80% of membership subscriptions swallowed up by administration costs.
15 years ago — July 2003:
• BRANZ believed that undue alarm had been raised over the use of slender pre-cast concrete wall panels in New Zealand’s warehouse buildings.
In response to newspaper reports that indicated “significant concern” over the use of thin concrete walls, BRANZ principle engineer Graeme Beattie said “they’ve got it wrong”.
A study on the stability of slender pre-cast concrete wall panels undertaken by BRANZ and Auckland and Canterbury Universities had shown that such walls were unlikely to collapse in an earthquake.
In the studies, the walls were loaded well beyond the loads that would be expected in a large earthquake. Their flexibilities increased during the cycle but they did not collapse.
10 years ago — July 2008:
• The BCITO Career Launcher was a new online tool that connected employers in the industry with potential apprentices. A free service, it tailored apprenticeship vacancies to find the perfect fit for construction businesses.
Interest in the new online tool was very positive, with more than 600 people across the country registered to receive email updates every time a new job matching their search criteria was listed — and the BCITO was regularly receiving emails and calls from people looking for apprenticeships.
5 years ago — July 2013:
• It was announced that in December 2013, the new stand-alone Crown agency, WorkSafe New Zealand, was to assume oversight of the workplace health and safety system.
It was claimed to be a significant step towards better health and safety outcomes for New Zealand industry.
And the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Health and Safety Group had already begun laying the groundwork for the new agency.
Group deputy chief executive Lesley Haines said changes needed to be made throughout the system to achieve the vision of safer and healthier workplaces in New Zealand.
“Our workplaces are currently not safe enough, and it is not only the regulator, but also every business, every employer, every worker who must step up their focus on health and safety,” Ms Haines said.