A New Zealand Construction Sector Accord was announced by five ministers, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, signalling long-term commitment between government and industry to collaborate on key work areas for a healthy construction sector
Government and construction industry leaders have signalled a shared commitment to transform New Zealand’s construction sector.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Construction Sector Accord is a new way for Government and industry to work together to create lasting, positive change in the sector.
“The wellbeing of New Zealanders is intrinsically linked to safe, durable and affordable homes, buildings and infrastructure. To meet the future needs of New Zealand, both Government and industry recognise that we need to work differently,” says Jacinda Ardern.
Jenny Salesa says, “The Construction Sector Accord sets out an agreed vision, the outcomes we want to achieve and the priority work areas we will be focusing on to address many of the challenges the sector is facing.”
Jointly developed by Ministers, Government agencies and industry leaders from across the construction sector, the Accord offers up a unique opportunity for industry and Government to partner on a range of commitments and initiatives to transform the sector. It also includes a pledge to hold each other accountable to the Construction Sector Accord.
“Together we have identified the priority areas we need to work on. The Government will lead where it can have maximum impact such as better procurement practices, improved Government construction pipeline management, and stronger building regulations.Government agencies already have a significant programme of work underway to support these aims,” says Jacinda Ardern.
“Industry representatives have identified the need for enhanced leadership and collaboration within the sector. Better alignment will support the other industry-led priority work areas of improving businesses performance and promoting a culture of trust between all parties in the construction eco-system,” says Jenny Salesa.
“Industry and Government will work together on a further four priorities which are to expand workforce capability and capacity, rebalance risk, improve health and safety and boost the supply of affordable and durable housing.
“Strengthening the partnership between industry and Government will help us make that step change towards a more productive, innovative and resilient construction sector,” says Jenny Salesa.
Civil Contractors New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Silcock said the Accord was a positive step forward for the whole construction industry, and specifically for the civil construction industry as its biggest clients were the public sector.
Mr Silcock said CCNZ had ensured strong civil construction industry representation in the development of the Accord, which focused on the key priorities of expanding workforce capability and capacity, rebalancing risk, improving health and safety and boosting supply of affordable and durable housing.
“The challenges we are facing as an industry impact on contractors, their employees, our construction clients and our society. It’s great we have made the first step towards a united approach with government.”
This joint commitment between the construction industry and its clients was now coming into shape and focused on the core problems rather than the symptoms. The accord should now be extended to the relationship between local government and contractors, in addition to head contractors and subcontractors, he said.
“We need to rise to the challenge of doing things differently. We are looking forward to working with Government and industry partners on the detail of the commitments, as well as a clear and defined plan for the accord to be implemented.”
Rather than being a ‘quick fix’, the Accord showed a high-level understanding of the need for real change. Mr Silcock said it was would complement the creation of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, with the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga Bill currently under consultation.
He said it was hopeful new initiatives and entities such as the Accord and Commission would create a more positive environment for New Zealand’s construction sector.
Of prime importance were increasing certainty around the pipeline of work and overcoming the issues of risk attribution and workforce shortages that had long undermined the health of the construction industry.
In the next stage of the Accord process, industry will work with Government to develop a more detailed plan for commitments to transformation.
Read more about the Construction Sector Accord here: www.constructionaccord.nz