Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


NZ construction industry needs overseas help to deliver

New Zealand’s construction sector will need international help to deliver the magnitude of infrastructure work that could flow through as a result of the Government’s plan to bring forward significant spending on infrastructure projects over coming years, says Frank Xu, President of the non-profit NZ Chinese Building Industry Association.

Xu says that although details are not yet fully clear after the Government’s announcement yesterday on the spending package, latest industry reports forecast what he describes as a ‘whopping’ amount of spend by NZ standards.

“Infometrics’ latest Infrastructure Pipeline Profile forecast shows that $138 billion of infrastructure spending is planned across New Zealand. When you add this to the government’s announcement and the total building construction value in the National Construction Pipeline Report - of circa $35-40 billion per annum for the next 10 years - you have a whopping amount that we will not have the capacity to deliver with resources from within New Zealand alone.”

Speaking at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade event in Auckland on Chinese investment in New Zealand, Xu said that history has shown that we don’t have the capacity to keep up with such demand in New Zealand by ourselves, which has contributed to the housing crisis.

“Overseas partnerships can be a constructive way to help us address our challenge. For example, after more than 30 years of heavy investment and development in its own infrastructure and construction projects, China has all the things we need - not only funding but also the experience, skills, people and technology.

“The two economies are highly complementary, particularly since the recent signing of the FTA trade upgrade. If the original 2008 FTA helped the NZ economy to lift out of the GFC quickly and strongly - with two-way trade from $8.2 billion in the year ended June 2007 to recently exceeding NZ$32 billion now, I argue that this latest FTA upgrade will help us to meet our infrastructure and housing challenge.”

Xu adds that the dairy industry can show a constructive and productive way forward. “The dairy sector is a great example for the infrastructure sector to follow. Comprehensive bilateral engagement between our two countries on dairy is driving bilateral investment - from NZ into China and China into NZ - and trade in our strongest merchandise sector. It is also leading to scientific exchange among public and private sectors inside and outside of the bilateral arrangements: government-to-government agreements, student exchanges, and representation at food safety and quality events in both countries.

“So, if cooperation can do this for the dairy industry, why not also for our infrastructure and building industry?”

Xu adds that NZCBIA and its members are already encouraging increased NZ-Chinese cooperation and working together, as shown by:

• NZCBIA and China Construction Bank NZ Ltd (CCBNZ) proactively promoting state-of-the-art Chinese-made construction machinery to NZ infrastructure projects, with CCBNZ able to offer loans to enable purchases;

• NZCBIA has been facilitating trade apprentice training through UNITEC and Sichuan College of Architecture & Technology (SCAT - SCAT has many excellent training facilities which reflecting the real construction environment such as curtain wall installation, brick/block laying, lift & escalator installation. Such facilities can help NZ to fast-track trade apprentice training;

• NZCBIA member Changda International has been in partnership with local consulting company CADENZA to introduce Chinese volumetric prefab products to several Auckland projects. Auckland Council visited the Chinese prefab manufacturer CIMC as part of the QA process to ensure the prefab products comply with NZ Building Code. (

Says Xu: “Things are happening at a project and business level. It is now time for central and local governments to act in the best interest of New Zealand by obtaining the much-needed funding, skills, labour and technology to meet this significant challenge.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>


Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>


Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>


Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>


Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>


XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>


Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>


RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>


NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>


Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>


Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>

DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>