By RMBA chief executive David Kelly
A successful construction sector is vital to ensuring a growing economy and, ultimately, better well-being for all New Zealanders.
Our industry contributes $15 billion every year to the economy, providing jobs and incomes to more than 250,000 people, and ensuring a steady growth in residential housing, commercial development, and core infrastructure needed to meet a growing population.
We create the homes, workplaces and communities where all New Zealanders live, work and play.
In April we were pleased to see the Government confirm its commitment to a healthy and vibrant construction sector with the launch of the Construction Sector Accord by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The Registered Master Builders Association was a key part of developing the accord, partnering with the Government on the Accord Development Group to establish a new way for Government and the sector to work together for a better built New Zealand.
We all accept that our sector faces challenges around skills and labour shortages, risk management and procurement. We welcome further change to the regulatory environment following reviews of key building legislation.
The release of the Government’s $6.1 billion building programme through the first Infrastructure Pipeline Report provides some certainty that has been previously missing.
I would encourage members to be aware of the infrastructure projects outlined in the report, and to seek out opportunities to access and procure work and contracts from them.
The Accord itself sets out a vision for the industry and a commitment to hold each other to account on responding to sector challenges, and to ensure we will begin to behave differently.
It is just the start, and the RMBA will be intimately involved in the next steps, including developing a more detailed transformation plan, targeted work programmes with specific time frames, and performance measures to monitor execution and progress.
We also want to hear more from our members. We’ll be asking more about how we can improve health and safety performance, improve risk management, and grow our workforce capability and capacity.
Our leadership role in this process will ensure that the voices of more than 3000 members continue to be front and centre, influencing decision-making at the highest levels of government.
This year’s Constructive Forum in September will be a key part of this process. I encourage all members to attend and continue to share your views face-to-face with the wider industry.
Since our first Constructive Forum in 2016, we have made considerable progress. The Accord and the Vertical Construction Leaders Group are clear tangible outcomes, but there is still more to do.
Constructive 2019 will be solutions-focused, with representation from Government Ministers, the MBIE, the Construction Accord Group, and other industry leaders from here and abroad.
We’ll be working constructively, together, to confirm our priorities for the construction sector, fix what needs to be fixed, and improve on what already works well.
This year’s Constructive will provide concrete next steps in reshaping our industry.
We look forward to seeing tangible progress towards a revitalised, future-focused industry with the skills and capacity we need to build a successful and sustainable New Zealand.