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Contractors ready for infrastructure challenge

11 August 2005

Contractors ready for infrastructure challenge

Increased Government spending on major roading projects around New Zealand will not lead to projects having to be delayed due to shortages of manpower and plant.

New Zealand Contractors’ Federation (NZCF) chief executive Richard Michael says the industry has the capacity to meet current and future demand.

“All that’s required is co-operation and planning between funders and our members,” says Mr Michael.

“We’re delighted that the government has heeded our calls for an increase in infrastructure investment, particularly in roading. We’ve said all along that any increased activity can – and will – be accommodated so long as funders work with the industry to plan, prioritise and streamline projects.”

Mr Michael was responding to recent speculation that a raft of major roading projects announced by funders would stretch resourcing within the civil contracting industry to breaking point.

“Like many other sectors, our industry is in a high demand phase, resulting in some pressures on skills and availability of plant. But contracting is a sector that works and plans years ahead and the capacity is definitely there to meet current and future demand.”

Mr Michael said that while Auckland-based contractors faced very strong demand for their services the industry was nationally focused with bigger companies able to deliver anywhere in the country.

“Just look at last week’s Hirepool / NZCF Construction Award finalists. One of the projects, which was worth more than $5 million, was for work done on Auckland’s central motorway – and featured a contractor whose home base is in the Manawatu.

“We know the government has an unprecedented amount of projects on the go. Our industry can deliver on that so long as transparency and forward planning on the part of funders allows us to make the necessary upfront investment in terms of plant, staffing and upskilling.”

Mr Michael said he was “delighted” the Government has shown the vision and foresight to increase levels of infrastructure spending to take New Zealand back above the OECD average of around 1.3 per cent a year.

“Without this level of funding New Zealand can not expect to grow economically and to remain competitive globally,” he said.


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