Industry associations band together to offer practical advice

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The Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA), the NZ Specialist Trade Contractors Federation (NZSTCF), and Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) have come together to offer practical advice to builders and subcontractors to help transform the construction sector.

RMBA chief executive David Kelly says they are working closely with the NZSTCF and the CCNZ, who share similar concerns about the state of the sector, and believe the key to resolution is for the industry to work better together.

 

Margins are too low

“No one is winning in the current environment. There is not enough cash in the system, contractors have no certainty, margins are too low, they are taking on too much risk, and there is a lack of schedule of quantities,” Mr Kelly says.

“This affects not just our Master Builders, but the subcontractors and other industry professionals as well.

“The cheapest price will very rarely result in the best value outcome,” he says.

NZSTCF president Graham Burke agrees, saying members of all organisations need to be mindful of the types of projects they are taking on.

“The industry knows only too well that there is a lot at stake here,’ he says.

“We are calling on all contractors, whether they are the lead on the project or the subcontractors, to make sure they fully understand the contracts they are taking on.”

CCNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says there is some very good practice out there.

“The best results are achieved when everyone involved works together ­— property owners, designers, engineers, contractors and subcontractors,” he says.

“There are opportunities for everyone to add value over the course of a project. With this as the focus rather than lowest cost, we can achieve great results.”

 

Current issues complex

Mr Kelly says the collaboration with the NZSTCF and the CCNZ is only one part of the puzzle, and more is needed across the industry.

“Our current issues are complex and multifaceted. They require the industry to work together, and with Government, to navigate the changes required.

“This is too important an issue to get wrong. We are talking about more than just buildings — these are the homes, workplaces and communities our society is based on.

“We were pleased to see the industry come together at the all-of-industry Constructive Forum recently, and look forward to putting the solutions discussed into practice.”