New president to focus on industry leadership

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New RMBF president Ashley Hartley wants to see the organisation take a more active leadership role. He sees the RMBF as being the preferred industry association for building practitioners throughout New Zealand, recognised by the public as the provider of quality, solution-driven construction. 

“I want to ensure that all registered master builders are true professionals, using recognised standards and sample guidelines as set by the RMBF,” Mr Hartley says. A resident of the Hawke’s Bay and general manager of Gemco Construction Ltd, Mr Hartley is looking forward to the challenge of overseeing New Zealand’s largest construction industry organisation with a 105 year legacy. 

A former vice-president and a registered master builder for almost 30 years, Mr Hartley says there are some big issues facing the construction industry. “Builders need to be able to respond to changing economic conditions which will vary from region to region. 

Licensing will require us to embrace and upskill through continuing professional development, and all builders will need to engage in best practice by keeping up to date with changes to the Building Code and standards,” he says. 

Mr Hartley is appreciative of the lengths the Department of Building and Housing has gone to in consulting with the Registered Master Builders Federation and other interested groups. “For licensing to work properly it is essential that it applies across all building categories and the component parts of the industry, and not just concentrate on one or two. 

“In order to grow and strengthen the industry overall, it is important that quality training is provided for young people at the trade, quantity surveying and management level. Careers in the construction industry must be viewed as a viable and attractive alternative to university.” 

In addition, individual businesses need to integrate health and safety into day-to-day business operations and not just a minimum ‘add on’. “I get a great sense of satisfaction from passing on knowledge that I have gained over the past 30 years as a registered master builder, and look forward to working more closely with the membership.”