20 years ago — March 1999:
• Skill New Zealand, the new identity for the Education Training and Support Agency (ETSA), formally approved the new on-site theory training programme the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) intended to introduce on June 1, 1999.
BCITO regional training staff were calling on all building employers, focusing initially on those with apprentices, to ensure they knew how the new system would work.
BCITO chief executive Trevor Allsebrook said training staff were reporting that after discussing the changes with employers, there was 95% support for the new system.
15 years ago — March 2004:
• New Zealand’s home improvement sector entered a new phase with the early success of Mitre 10’s first Mega store, signalling an enthusiastic customer response to the new Mega concept.
The Mitre 10 Mega store in Hastings tripled sales in the first 10 days of trading compared to sales achieved for both the former Hastings and Havelock North stores over the same period in 2003.
Tens of thousands of visitors had been through the store since it officially opened in February.
10 years ago — March 2009:
• The Government should plan ahead and obtain advance design and environmental approvals for future infrastructure projects, the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) said.
The organisation welcomed the Government’s recent multi-million dollar package of infrastructure spending to help stimulate the economy, with many projects being fast-tracked over the coming months.
However, ACENZ president Brent Meekan said extensive further investment in infrastructure would be required, and New Zealand should follow the example of a number of European governments which ensured they had a supply of approved “shovel-ready” projects.
5 years ago — March 2014:
• An engineered wood product that had the potential to transform construction was included in the New Zealand Building Code.
Laminated beams made from glued veneers of radiata pine were well known for their strength, stability and uniform sizing. Now improved durability was added to the list.
Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) treated with Azotek, a novel product developed by New Plymouth-based Zelam Ltd, was included in the NZ Building Code as an acceptable solution for internal framing.
“This is a world-first. It essentially makes wet solvent treatments for LVL and plywood obsolete, and opens the door to much wider use of LVL framing in construction,” Zelam marketing manager Noel Coxhead said.