Change tends to go in waves – when you go through a long period of “status quo” and “this is the way we always do things around here”.
For various reasons my pick is that 2007 will be a year of significant change – for the construction industry overall and, therefore, for the RMBF too.
The landscape is shifting and, rather than through “gentle erosion”, it will be through “explosive earthquakes” as various change initiatives come to bear, such as:
The licensing of particular classes of building practitioners (designers, site leads and carpenters) becoming voluntary from November 2007,
The Building Code continuing through its review process, with most of the high level decisions about its shape and content to be completed by the end of this year,
Product certification coming to the fore – both through the regime required under the Building Act and through whatever likely secondary scheme (or schemes) that might operate underneath it,
Building Consent Authority accreditation continuing through its paces, and accelerating the need for local authorities to have improved levels of consistency and certainty, translating into better performance outcomes,
The construction industry getting more vocal about the need to streamline the way we handle timber treatment and timber strength, to make things a whole lot simpler and easier for practitioners, and
The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service changes brought into effect in 2006 will start to turn into more meaningful outcomes in 2007.
And that is just a small snapshot of the changes affecting the construction industry this coming year!
One of the other bigger shifts this year will be the national politics scene. My hunch is that, 18 months out from the next election, we will see an ongoing rise in the level of politicking this year, with both main parties vying for the hearts and minds of the electorate.
Given the level of change we are going through, the construction industry is likely to be a magnet for some of that politicking, and it will be interesting to see what happens during the year.
As the Chinese proverb goes, “May you live in interesting times” – and 2007 will be a big year in that regard.
The RMBF will be across all that industry change ensuring as best as we’re able that any change matches industry need and aligns with industry practice, and then communicating the change back out to our members and the industry so they are best prepared for it – and so they can maximise the business opportunity accordingly.
It will be a very busy year, and we are looking forward to the challenge of keeping on top of it all!
And, to all our RMBF members, stakeholders and partners, have a great 2007.