Construction sector moves towards greater collaboration 

Constructive, the New Zealand Construction Industry Forum, was held last week in Christchurch bringing together key representatives from the industry to discuss issues facing the sector and to identify opportunities to work more collaboratively to develop solutions. 

David Kelly, Chief Executive of RMBA, which led the Forum said it was a success with industry leaders from across the building, research, engineering, architecture and commercial property sectors coming together with government for the first time. 

Teena Hale-Pennington CEO of the New Zealand Institute of Architects said it was timely for all segments of the sector to share ideas about what best practice looks like now and what it will look like in the future. 

“As a sector we have acknowledged there is a problem and solving it requires greater collaboration,” said Hale-Pennington . “This forum has provided us with a mandate to change the way industry and government work together to meet New Zealand’s building and construction needs,” said Hale-Pennington. 

 Speaking at the conference, Acting Prime Minister Hon Bill English said that Government was a key part of the solution, and that its focus is to be a better customer. Kelly believes the onus is also on industry, across the whole construction supply chain to take the initiative. 

“As Minister English quite rightly said there’s a generational opportunity for the sector to be a better and more efficient partner and supplier, and Constructive has taken the first step towards this approach,” said Kelly.

The Forum also discussed the industry’s resilience – how it had responded to issues such as the GFC and Canterbury earthquakes.

“It should not take another earthquake or natural disaster for us to step up,” said Kelly. “We need to take these learnings, and the successful initiatives we are seeing across the across the sector and make them business as usual.

“Continuing the work of Constructive was now the focus for all who attended,” said Kelly.  “This will be carried out in collaboration with the current sector groups and, where necessary, we will establish working groups to address key issues of skills and capacity, new business models and procurement, and establishing industry wide standards for health and safety.  We look forward to reporting back to the next Constructive Forum in 2017.”