20 years ago:
• New Zealand construction firms were likely to turn their backs on training if the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) passed on 100% levy increases enforced by the Government.
The BCITO said the change to the funding formula for training apprentices would bring far greater costs for employers who were almost certain to opt out of training commitments.
The change in the system of funding received from the Education Training and Support Agency for administering training would have left the BCITO with a $1.7 million deficit in the next calendar year.
15 years ago:
• Builders and plumbers were among the top 10 most trusted professions in New Zealand, according to a Reader’s Digest survey of the country’s most trusted professions and products.
Plumbers ranked eighth and builders ninth from a list of 23 professions and institutions, placing both above the church which came in at number 12.
Not too surprisingly, politicians were a resounding last on the list, while making up the bottom five were car salesmen, marketers, psychologists and . . . journalists!
10 years ago:
• A report on Grade 500E Steel Reinforcement released by the Department of Building and Housing raised concerns about the quality of imported steel, recommending that the construction industry undertake education programmes to ensure it is used correctly.
The DBH report came in response to concerns raised by the University of Auckland and other industry members about the performance of Grade 500E reinforcing steel.
Independent testing by SGS New Zealand Ltd showed almost all 500E samples met AS/NZS 4671 standards.
However, the failure of some imported samples in some tests related to low yield stress, low uniform elongation and incorrect bar markings and configurations.
5 years ago:
• Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson opened New Zealand’s first Simple House in Otara, Auckland.
The Simple House was a government initiative managed by the Department of Building and Housing, aimed at making a new house an attainable goal for first home buyers without sacrificing quality or architectural merit.
The Otara Simple House had three bedrooms, a large open-plan dining, kitchen and lounge area, bathroom and study.
A key feature was an external courtyard sheltered on two sides, providing a quiet and safe area for the family and where children could play.
The house was designed by Stephen Smith of S3 Architects in Auckland. Mr Smith was the supreme winner of the Starter Home Design Competition run by the DBH.
Other architects were also devising Simple House designs in Wairarapa and Canterbury.