Another busy year at the RMBF

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As 2011 draws to a close, it is opportune that we reflect on the tremendous amount of work that has been progressed, and our achievements during the year.
As I have stated before, many people would be surprised at the number of issues worked on and influenced by the RMBF because of our involvement in so many aspects of the construction industry.

Chief executive Warwick Quinn and the rest of the team have to keep so many balls in the air. On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to pass on my sincere thanks to all of the RMBF and MBS staff who have worked so hard and achieved so much.
It is difficult to nominate highlights. Perhaps there have been none in particular!
Obviously our premier events, the House of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, have been very successful, in spite of the fact that entries were down as a result of recessionary pressures on our members.

House of the Year best yet
I was in the very fortunate position of attending many of the events, and thoroughly enjoyed them all.
The national House of the Year final, held recently in Auckland was, by common consensus, the best yet. Every detail was up a notch on the year before, and the agenda was worked through like clockwork.

Nearly everyone I spoke to was very impressed and satisfied. Although we are currently implementing the recommendations of a complete review of the competition earlier this year (mainly to ensure it continues to thrive), rest assured that we will ensure the bar keeps rising, in terms of judging standards and the event presentation.
The Apprentice of the Year continues to grow in importance to us and the industry as a whole.
It goes without saying that the future of our industry is in the hands of those young people who have the courage, skill and inclination to enter this competition. They are all really high quality young people with high aspirations.

Our challenge is to give them a clear and inviting career path. Our immediate task is to build up the entry numbers to ensure this competition matches the House of Year event in every way, so please give some serious thought to putting your young builders forward in 2012.

DBH relationship 
Of great significance is the relationship we have continued to cultivate and build with the Department of Building and Housing and the Minister’s office.
These relationships are open, honest and frank. It is clear that we are listened to at that level although, like many others, we are frustrated by the time it takes to make changes.
We are hoping that we will see continuity at a departmental and government level, and that we may see Maurice Williamson continue in his portfolio.

Foreign investment
Undoubtedly, it has remained a really tough trading environment for our members. Although there are indications of some increased activity, the common view is that things will remain tough for a while yet.

It would certainly be great to see the Government do more to encourage foreign investment. There are some really good opportunities that can be pounced on by a forward-thinking government.

As usual, 2012 will present many challenges. We have a lot of work to do in some key areas, but I am sure we will be up for the tasks ahead.
My special thanks go out to my RMBF Board colleagues, our MBS Board members, our management and staff. I take this opportunity to wish you all a fabulous Christmas and New Year, and a prosperous 2012.