Supporting the sector in a challenging market

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RMBA chief executive David Kelly.

RMBA chief executive David Kelly outlines the timely content of next month’s Constructive 2022, and the answers it is hoped will address a number of issues currently plaguing the industry.


It continues to be a tough time for the construction sector. With such a myriad of issues currently impacting the sector, this month we have targeted our efforts on the plasterboard shortage and the H1/AS1 building code changes.

We are also focused on supporting you with what you can do to navigate the current environment to come out stronger.

That is the theme of this year’s Constructive Forum, and I urge you all to attend as we hear from sector leaders who have managed through times like this before.

Constructive 2022: insights for building new futures

Market conditions are changing fast, and deteriorating from a prolonged boom cycle to the bust phase that will be new to many of our members.

But as a sector, we have been here before. Constructive is the only forum to bring together the wider sector and Government to move beyond words to practical solutions from those who have navigated these conditions in past.

With keynote addresses from the Minister of Building and Construction Dr Megan Woods, National Party Leader Christopher Luxon, and industry experts from across Australasia, we’ll tackle the big issues and changes needed for system change.

We’ll also be having the conversations around what we can do now, with practical insights and examples to improve the way we operate not just today, but tomorrow.

The future success of our industry relies heavily on effective collaboration.


Day One — Residential Construction: Lessons to help adapting to change

For the past 12 years we have seen a continuous increase in residential building work. That’s now stopped as the effects of a slowing economy, supply chain disruption, skilled labour shortages, rising costs, consenting delays, and government regulation have pressed down on the sector.

Our problems are not unique — similar issues are being felt elsewhere.

We ask if there is anything we can learn from others’ experience, particularly from Australia, to transform our approach to housing, including social housing, in order to adapt and emerge stronger than during previous down cycles.

We also look at navigating the significant regulatory and consenting issues facing the sector.

Day two — Commercial Construction: Strategies for surviving the cycle

Issues facing the commercial construction sector, including procurement, climate change, waste management, supply chain disruption, cost escalation, business failures and risk management will be explored to better understand new strategies as acute pressures impact the sector.

We are looking forward to showcasing our annual state of the sector survey, which will reveal the issues the sector is most concerned about.

We’ll focus on what is keeping leaders awake at night — and what they’re doing about it. This year’s survey is especially important to gauge how well the sector is holding up, as it faces a marked change in market conditions.

Dovetailing into this will be a focus on our workforce and its mental well-being, where the sector has a special duty of care.

Join us in Rotorua on August 25 – 26. Visit www.constructive.org.nz for more information and to secure your seat. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

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Solutions to tackle the gib shortage

I have been appointed by the Minister to a Ministerial taskforce of a select number of industry experts to investigate and develop solutions for the widespread plasterboard shortages.

We know our builders, big and small, are struggling mightily with the shortages and knock-on effects.

While the taskforce is considering long-term solutions, it is focused on providing immediate options in the first instance.

As a result, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will be advising consenting authorities on how to work with alternatives to GIB.

Registered Master Builders will be collaborating with the New Zealand Institute of Architects to help our members understand what the alternatives are, and how they can be implemented.

Through working together, we can help alleviate the effects of the shortage and get on top of it.

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Advocating for a H1/AS1 code change delay

We are pleased that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has decided to undertake a short consultation to extend the transition period for the H1/AS1 changes to the building code by six months.

While the industry is wholly supportive of measures that will result in better insulated homes for New Zealanders, our already stressed sector requires additional time to implement them.

The changes will require us to adapt to the new methods of design and construction, manufacturers to significantly scale up production, and consenting authorities to get to grips with the new regulations.

We are eagerly awaiting the decision, and trust that the MBIE listens to the sector’s concerns.

We’ll keep you abreast of progress.

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