As the National Party began the caucus meeting on Friday that resulted in Todd Muller replacing Simon Bridges as party leader, building & construction spokesperson Andrew Bayly issued a release suggesting measures the Government might take to unleash the construction sector’s ability to employ thousands more people.
“The building & construction industry offers one of the best opportunities for rejuvenating our economy because it employs a large number of New Zealanders and many of its products are sourced locally.
“Spending money wisely on projects that deliver good value and employ more Kiwis is vital, but we risk not achieving those objectives in the rush to deliver shovel-ready projects,” Mr Bayly said.
Building & Construction Minister Jenny Salesa announced a proposal yesterday for a number of home improvement exemptions from requiring consent. Meanwhile, Mr Bayly had said on Friday one of the biggest issues confronting the sector was the cost of delays with consenting.
“Kainga Ora now has the ability to fast-track its own build programme with little or no involvement from councils, but the Government has done little to address consenting delays across the rest of the sector.
“It must deal with the wider issues across our construction sector rather than just providing
bespoke solutions for its own Government agencies.”
To maximise the construction sector’s potential, Mr Bayly wants to see:
- Greater use of technology – such as the Artisan app developed by BRANZ (the Building Research Association) – to reduce the number of physical inspections during building work as it occurs
- Development of short micro-skills courses covering training in specific skills
- Advance spending on Government projects, particularly in provincial areas, and
- Greater support & innovative funding for new building projects such as providing some form of underwriting of material costs for new developments.
“It’s also vital the Government places sufficient weight on the domestic building & construction sector, rather than engaging overseas firms for projects that employ few New Zealanders and see revenues head overseas.”
Attribution: Bayly release.