Constructive 2021: Restructuring New Zealand


By RMBA chief executive David Kelly

New Zealand has a problem. As a sector, how do we step up to the huge challenge of delivering the homes and buildings our country needs?

This year’s Constructive Forum is tackling the big issues facing commercial and residential construction.

For the first time, the Forum is being held over two days, with the first day centred on continuing our focus on commercial construction, and day two turning to New Zealand’s housing crisis.

Our sector continues to face a number of complex issues for which there are no easy answers.

Constructive brings together leaders from across the private and public sectors to find practical solutions.

It is a format that works. Over the past five years our sector has come a long way, and Constructive has had a role to play.

Maybe our highest profile achievement has been the role Constructive played in the development of the Construction Sector Accord, which was first discussed at Constructive in 2018.

This provided a platform for Government and industry to work together.

As a result, we really are seeing progress on a number of issues that have affected the sector for decades, including procurement, fairness in contracts, value models and business performance.

We can be proud of our progress, but I think we can all agree there is still work to do.

Across two days, this year’s Constructive will continue these discussions, and look at what’s next for our sector.

Our most pressing issue is housing. Why are we unable to consistently deliver the homes New Zealanders need?

Constructive 2021 will look at how we can work better together to address our housing crisis.

A continued focus on commercial construction

Our Annual State of the Sector Survey provides a progress report on what we have achieved over the past few years, while also raising new issues and opportunities we need to be aware of.

We’ll talk to leaders from across the sector to understand what’s keeping them awake at night — and what they’re doing about it.

We’ll also take the opportunity to hear more from the Construction Sector Accord, understanding what has been achieved to date and, more importantly, what’s next.

Unfair procurement models have been discussed at each Constructive since we began in 2016, and we are now seeing improvements.

We look forward to sharing new positive examples — across Government and the private sector.

The afternoon will be focused on global challenges facing the sector, including climate change.

While there has been a lot of discussion about what the problems are, and what is at stake, Constructive will focus on what the sector actually needs to do, and share examples of good practice.

Transforming our approach to housing

On day two we turn to housing. How can the sector consistently deliver affordable, quality housing?

New Zealand’s housing crisis is not unique, with similar issues being felt in many Western societies.

We’ll be asking if there’s anything we can learn from others, and how can we transform our approach to housing and social housing in order to improve delivery for all New Zealanders.

We also know there are some great initiatives already happening. We’ll bring public and private sector leaders together to discuss the new solutions being delivered.

A key part of these projects is partnerships between developers, Government, communities and iwi.

We’ll talk through the opportunities and challenges these projects have faced.

As a sector we are also facing major regulatory reform. We’ll look at what you need to know and what these changes will practically mean for what and how we build.

Consenting is the biggest pain point for many. Constructive will address what we can do differently today, and the reforms we need to solve this for tomorrow.

To the future 

The future success of our industry relies heavily on effective collaboration. We need to work effectively as a sector and with Government.

Constructive 2021 is your opportunity to play your part, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Constructive 2021 is to be held in Wellington on August 12-13. Register now at

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