“Public and private collaboration on the Construction Sector Accord and bi-partisan support for the establishment of the Infrastructure Commission will deliver major benefits for infrastructure and construction outcomes if cooperation can be sustained,” says Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Stephen Selwood.
“The Construction Sector Accord announced today aims to transform the way the government and the construction industry work together and that transformation can’t come soon enough.
“Uncertainty, skills shortages, injuries and contracting issues are making the construction sector a less attractive, productive and effective part of the economy. That’s bad for everyone, not least of all the Government because of the direct role construction plays in delivering public services.
“The Accord signals recognition that clients have a major impact on the way the industry behaves. What everyone wants is a healthy construction industry which competes across itself to deliver value, rather than competing with its clients.
“That the Accord has been signed in the same week that legislation to establish the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga (NZIC), attracted support from all political parties is especially pleasing.
“The NZIC will provide independent advice to the Government on infrastructure strategy and provide procurement support. It will develop a long awaited pipeline of public works which will give the industry greater clarity over future infrastructure programmes, priorities and investments.
“This forward work programme is essential to providing the market with the confidence to invest in the skills, systems and equipment which are desperately required to improve New Zealand’s construction productivity.
“But it must have bi-partisan support to succeed. New Zealand’s thee-year election cycle is too short for any one Government to reshape infrastructure policy.
“There needs to be broader understanding and agreement over the long term opportunities and challenges so that, even if projects change in the short term, we as a country do not lose sight of the bigger picture.
“We strongly commend the NZIC process to date which has enabled all political leaders to work together. The priority now is to sustain an open, transparent and collaborative process to finalise legislation and establish a respected, capable and independent infrastructure body,” Selwood says.
For further information and comment contact Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209