Takeaways from Constructive 2023


CE Pamela Bell of NZ Institute of Building attended the Constructive Forum 2023 on 30 & 31 August in Tāmaki | Auckland.

Here are some of her takeaways from the event:

  • Shamubeel Eaqub, economist, told the room that the general election won’t have any major impact on the economic cycle - and that historically no election had had substantial effects - Something to keep in mind as we head towards mid-October!
  • The suggestion from all the financial, economic and policy speakers was for the construction industry to stick to its knitting, focus on business resilience and delivering to each organization’s own value proposition.
  • Several speakers spoke to the climate change challenges and specifically to the North Island extreme weather events.
  • Minister Woods talked about counter-cyclical political levers to even out boom and bust. These included KiwiBuild, BuildReady, government as client, and the Kainga Ora pipeline through 2025. The Minister spoke to two innovation strategies - one for the government to procure 20% more offsite manufacture year on year, and the other to create Building Information Management (BIM) asset registers to support climate goals and measure embodied carbon -
  • Ross Copland of Te Waihanga spoke of the Infrastructure Priority List which is in development - and pointed out that 44% of the construction workforce has had less than two years in the industry.
  • Denita Wawn of Master Builders Australia spoke of how the $55 billion AUD of discretionary income per annum usually spent going offshore had been redirected into construction activity and caused a major spike in activity, as well as financial cashflow strain leading to many business insolvencies in the sector.
    On future growth, she spoke of the need for Australia to find 500,000 more workers to deliver to population growth - hence pressure on NZ’s own skills will likely increase in coming years.
    Master builders Aus (MBA) has released a 2050 sustainability strategy on their website.
    MBA has also launched the Women Building Australia initiative alongside the Australian federal government.
  • Independent economist Cameron Bagrie encouraged the industry to focus on ‘fixing things and coming out stronger on the other side over the next three years’.
  • Jehan Casinader reminded us how much our construction people matter and spoke of his own mental health journey and his recent book ‘This is not how it ends’, in a presentation that many picked as the best of the conference.
  • Amanda Long beamed in from the UK to tell us about their well-established Considerate Constructors Scheme and we learnt about how compatible it is with our own Broader Outcomes goals, only with more measurable outcomes and independent audits.
  • David Hall, new General Manager at MBIE’s Building System Performance division, reminded us that the current first principles review of the building consenting system will be back for industry consultation in early to mid-2024.


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