20 years ago:
• The NZMBF condemned the rise in employers’ ACC levies, describing them as tinkering aimed at propping up an accident corporation system that had totally lost its way.
Chief executive Trevor Allsebrook said it was no surprise that employers were threatening to withhold payment of increased amounts — and, in some cases, their entire levies — in protest at the Government’s failure to undertake a total revamp of the ACC system, including serious consideration of privatisation.
“Their concerns continue to fall on deaf ears. Instead, the Government has taken up an unthinking, short-term option of whacking up the levies — an option which will only exacerbate the financial plight of ACC because pouring in more employer money does not address the fundamental problems,” Mr Allsebrook said.
15 years ago:
• Associate Minister of Finance Laila Harre announced details of proposed new legislation aimed at widespread payment problems in the construction industry.
Since the Statutory Liens and Wages Act was repealed in 1986, subcontractors had been exposed to a high degree of risk when it came to getting paid by operators at the top of the contractual chain.
“Pay when paid and pay if paid clauses have been the financial downfall of many small subcontractors, and more recently we have seen larger companies forced into bankrupcy or liquidation because of this legal loophole,” Ms Harre said.
10 years ago:
• The RMBF introduced changes to the 2006 House of the Year competition to ensure greater judging transparency and to provide feedback to all entrants.
Key changes included the replacement of local residential judging panels with four to five national panels who were to each judge three to four categories throughout the country.
Panel membership was also changed, and comprised only two judges — one builder specialist and one architect. Judging criteria was to reflect the importance of workmanship — at 65% of the total marks available, with design, functionality and style comprising the remaining 35%.
5 years ago:
• Recent research undertaken by the Commerce Commission showed there was a low level of understanding in the construction sector of what kinds of conduct and communications between competitors may be unlawful.
The research showed that many businesses were not aware of the consequences of breaching the Commerce Act, nor what the Commission’s role was.
Aware that anti-competitive conduct in construction industries was prevalent overseas, the Commission was taking a proactive approach to improving understanding of the Commerce Act.
This included helping businesses that compete in the construction industry to understand their obligations, and to change behaviour that may have been putting them at risk of breaking the law.