20 years ago:
• A $60,000 cheque from Telecom boosted the NZMBF’s coffers and was to go towards its television advertising campaign.
The NZMBF had considered an annual levy increase from $150 to $200 but that, not surprisingly, did not find favour among members.
The Telecom payment was the Federation’s share of the scheme that provided discounted toll calls for members. Federation chief executive Trevor Allsebrook said the $60,000 was almost as much as would have been raised by increasing the levy.
15 years ago:
• The Building Industry Authority engaged an independent team of three people to conduct an enquiry into widespread claims that new buildings were failing to stay weathertight.
The team, officially called the Building Industry Authority Overview Group on Weathertightness, was chaired by Don Hunn, the former State Services Commissioner and Head of the NZ Public Service 1987-97.
Establishing the independent group was the authority’s response to concerns expressed by a number of industry organisations, plus media accounts of a high incidence of leaking and rotting houses.
“The group has been instructed to undertake a planned and detailed investigation into the reported current failure of new and near-new buildings to remain weathertight,” BIA chief executive Dr Bill Porteous said.
“The authority has asked the group to obtain evidence to show how widespread and how big the problem was, and to identify all likely causes,” Dr Porteous said.
10 years ago:
• A group of New Zealand scientists developed a portable X-ray scanning device that could differentiate between good wood and rotten wood, providing a safety test for structures such as power poles and bridges.
Called PortaScan, the technology was designed specifically to check the health of wooden power poles but could, ultimately, test any wooden structure.
The basic device was about the size of a lunchbox, weighed just 3kg, and gave an instant reading on the stability of wood at the base of a power pole, using wireless technology to relay the test results to a hand-held monitor.
5 years ago:
• The first stage of Auckland’s newest train station — and the first rail line built since the 1930s — was to open in Manukau in April.
Passengers were to enter a temporary station entrance to the completed platform areas in a rail trench below ground level.
Construction was to continue above ground on the second stage of the development, a $95 million integrated transport hub and tertiary campus at the Manukau City Centre site next to Hayman Park.
When completed in 2013, the new station entrance would be on the ground floor of the Manukau Tertiary Centre, and include a ticket office, with easy connections between trains and buses leaving just outside the station entrance.
Auckland Transport and Auckland Council partnered with the Manukau Institute of Technology in the development, with Kiwirail building the 2km rail line from the Southern Line to the Manukau City Centre.