Election ’23: Sector issues need to be spelt out

David Kelly

RMBA chief executive David Kelly says it’s important for Registered Master Builders to make the political parties aware of the significant construction sector issues the organisation faces as the country goes to the polls later this year.

2023 is shaping up as a closely fought election contest. Cost of living pressures and the state of the economy are front and centre in voters’ minds.

The polls are tight. In these circumstances, it’s important for Master Builders to set out for the political parties the significant issues we face in the construction sector.

Not only does the sector have a significant impact on the economy, but it is also responsible for our social fabric — including affordable housing, schools, hospitals and other important facilities.

Yet New Zealand’s housing and construction system is under pressure, and is unable to deliver what the country requires.

These are urgent issues, and while we understand some solutions will take time to implement, it is vital we begin to tackle them now.

There are some quick wins we can achieve which will make a difference to productivity immediately.

These issues are not new to the sector — we have been grappling with them as a country for decades.

Many have solutions that are simple, but successfully achieving change has not appeared easy.

To that end, we will shortly be publicly releasing an Election Manifesto.

It will lay out the issues we think are the most important to the future well-being of the construction sector in this country today.

We have put a lot of thought into the manifesto although, for most in the industry, the key issues discussed will likely not be a surprise.

As already stated, most have been with us for a long time and, in my view, for far too long.

I have also been talking to politicians from across the political spectrum to gauge where parties are positioned on the issues facing the sector and what gaps may exist.

The significant issues identified in the manifesto are:

• Smoothing the boom/bust cycle to address the housing deficit.

• Building current and future workforce capability and capacity.

• Improving productivity through the Resource Management Act (RMA), consenting, and procurement reform.

• Managing the impacts of climate change.

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