Strut your stuff!


The RMBF has just finished the 2008 House of the Year and RMB Commercial Projects Awards in association with PlaceMakers — and what an event it was!


This programme is a 12-month industry exposé of the best the construction industry has to offer.


The market is as tough as I have experienced in more than 25 years, and even if you listen to the optimists, things aren’t going to get any better next year.


Regardless of this, there is still no substitute for quality. Looking around the room at the House of the Year National Gala Dinner I did not see many builders out of work. These are the builders that potential clients will be looking for — they want winners.


The awards are about showcasing excellence and, given how competitive the market is right now and if you’re looking for that point of difference, you would be mad not to have your entry list of properties ready.


Entries opened on-line on 15 December 2008 at, and entry kits will be sent to all RMBF members before Christmas.


Moving on to another issue, each year we traditionally see builder 90-day debt reach a high point in February then reduce to peak again the next February. This has generally been so consistent it is one of the Reserve Bank’s economy indicators.


In February 2008 it reached its new high but, unlike other years it has not reduced, and in November it reached an all-time high.


The building supply industry has been hard hit with builder collapses this year, and will be less able to allow payment delays to see the odd builder through this January, February and the tough times predicted next year.


It’s time to think now about how you may add adequate capital to your business to see you through these next few months.


While interest rates are at historical lows, next year may be too late for some.


Most important, if you feel financial trouble is looming don’t be staunch. Get on the phone and get help.


This is my first Christmas as RMBF president, and it’s been one full-on year to say the least. I’d like to thank the RMBF and MBS Boards, the RMB Associations and members and the RMBF staff for their support this year — it’s been a tough time for everyone.


I wish you all the very best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Take a well earned break and please take care on the roads.