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Commission launches website for construction industry

Commerce Commission launches website for construction industry


The Commerce Commission will today launch a new website for the construction industry. The website will help industry members increase their understanding of competition and consumer laws so they can improve their compliance.

“The idea for the website arose from our work with the sector over the last few years. We saw the need for a user-friendly guide specifically tailored to the needs of construction businesses and workers to help them understand and comply with the laws that we enforce,” said Kate Morrison, Competition General Manager.

“We’ve tried to make the language on the website really down-to-earth and practical. We want it to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for busy people. And we’ve put in lots of examples to help make the concepts more relevant,” said Ms Morrison.

“The wider construction sector is incredibly important to New Zealand’s economy for a number of reasons. Estimates suggest that we are on the brink of the largest construction boom in New Zealand for 40 years, part of which of course is due to the Canterbury rebuild but also to high levels of activity in Auckland,” continued Ms Morrison.

Overseas experience indicates that the sector is particularly susceptible to cartel, or price-fixing conduct, mainly due to structural characteristics of many construction markets. The Commission has therefore been actively working with the sector since 2010 to raise awareness of competition and consumer laws.

More recently, the earthquakes in Canterbury have also provided further opportunity for anti-competitive behaviour as the rebuild takes place. It is widely acknowledged internationally that fraud, corruption, and anti-competitive practices (eg, price fixing, bid rigging, and market sharing) occur after natural disasters.

“Because of these factors, we are hosting the launch of the website in Christchurch, but will also be sharing it with key members of the sector in Auckland tomorrow,” said Ms Morrison. “All these opportunities and risks make it really important that we focus our minds on the construction industry and do what we can to assist construction markets to work well during the rebuild and throughout the country.”
The website is http://construction.comcom.govt.nz

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