Back In Time


20 years ago — December 1998:

A decision by the BCITO to abandon polytechnic training for its apprentices and trainees would not adversely affect them, according to BCITO chief executive Trevor Allsebrook.

He said they and their employers would benefit from not having to spend time away from work attending block courses.

He also said feedback on the decision to switch from polytechnic to manual-based theory training “has made us wonder why we didn’t do it years ago”.

The BCITO decided not to enter into any contracts with polytechnics because of a New Zealand Qualifications Authority decision that effectively took control of industry training away from industry and its employers, and put it into the hands of academics.


15 years ago — December 2003:

RMBF construction firm Leighs Construction from Christchurch was carrying out the unusual task of a trial assembly for a two-storey building, in preparation for its final assembly at one of the world’s most remote building sites.

The construction of the heated field store facility for the New Zealand Antarctic programme’s Scott Base was the first awarded to a private sector construction firm, with all previous construction being undertaken by the New Zealand military.

Managing director Anthony Leighs said the $4.6 million project was a real challenge, and a trial assembly was important to ensure nothing was left to chance. Up to 18 construction staff were to work on site.


10 years ago — December 2008:

Statistics New Zealand figures showed the seasonally adjusted volume of residential building work put in place in the September quarter was the lowest since June 2002.

While the fall-off in house building continued, one analyst said there were fears 35,000 jobs could be lost in the construction sector.

Goldman Sachs JBWere analyst Shamubeel Eaqub said the outlook for the construction sector was very weak. “As activity weakens in the sector the prospect of job losses is intensifying.”

Mr Eaqub estimated the sector was over-staffed by about 35,000 workers.


5 years ago — December 2013:

Demolition of Christchurch Cathedral was given the go ahead, following a judgement from the Supreme Court dismissing an appeal against an earlier decision legally enabling its destruction.

The judgement brought an end to months of legal wrangling between campaigners hoping to save the gothic-style church and custodians of the cathedral — the Church Property Trustees.

The judgement acknowledged the circumstances giving rise to the application for leave to appeal were of “great national importance’’ to the citizens of Christchurch.