Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Joint Press Release - Shovels At The Ready, But Where’s The Work?


Construction and infrastructure industry leaders are calling for urgency around the release of the government’s full list of ‘shovel-ready projects’ as increasing numbers of workers face redundancy and business confidence amongst construction and infrastructure companies nose-dives.

Early this month the Government announced it had selected 150 projects worth NZD$2.6b that would create or retain 20,000 jobs. But four weeks later, only 30 projects worth about NZD$500m (approximately 25 per cent of the total allocated) had been released. A package including NZD$761m of three waters funding had also been announced, but without any timelines.

Civil Contractors New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Silcock said while the civil construction industry welcomed funding announcements and wanted to take the lead in driving post COVID-19 employment and economic recovery, details were urgently needed, or people would lose their jobs.

There was a big difference between making announcements and providing meaningful employment opportunities through economic activity, Mr Silcock said.

“The current situation is incredibly frustrating. We know the work is out there, but unless we know where, what and most importantly when projects will start, contractors are left totally in the dark. They will have no choice but to put workers off or face the risk of companies going under.”

He said employers had been waiting months for shovel-ready jobs and needed certainty to invest in people. Every week’s delay meant more would lose their jobs. A joint letter from industry leaders was sent to ministers in mid-June stating the urgent need. Ministers responded that answers were ‘imminent’, but the actual project details were still trickling out slowly, he said.

Infrastructure New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Blair said companies were running out of options.

“The drop off in well-signalled work across local councils and the private sector means industry is disproportionately dependent upon central government. All those small but steady jobs in local areas across the country help sustain employment in between big jobs that make front pages. They’re very important. That’s why industry was so pleased with the shovel-ready announcements.”

Mr Blair said timing was everything. Projects starting construction today had planners, designers and architects at work last year. Contractors began allocating resources, scaling up or down based on predictions of work. The problem now was that no one could see six to 12 months ahead, so they were taking risks retaining staff on assumptions work would appear or having to cut back hours.

“It’s very stressful, it’s increasing costs and it’s completely avoidable. The full list and timing of shovel ready projects needs to be released now with a clear commitment to project timeframes.”

Association of Consulting and Engineering Chief Executive Paul Evans said the situation was looking dire as local government cut spending on infrastructure projects, and unless urgent action was taken, the infrastructure and construction industries stood to lose a huge amount of skilled workers.

“We've seen this happen before. From 1987 into the early 90s, thousands of jobs were shed, creating a capability crisis lasting a decade, whose ripples remain today. The loss of skill and capacity in engineering and construction meant under-investment in critical infrastructure.”

Mr Evans said right now the industry could not create employment opportunities, and was instead adding people to the unemployment list. A June ACE New Zealand survey indicated 46 per cent of engineering consulting firms were experiencing cashflow and financial issues.

He said forty-five per cent had been considering cutting staff – the average loss was estimated at 15 per cent of the workforce. This was likely to have increased since June, with flow-on effects across the whole of the economy.


ABOUT CIVIL CONTRACTORS NEW ZEALAND
Civil Contractors New Zealand is an incorporated society that represents the interests and aspirations of more than 600 organisations – including large, medium-sized and small businesses in civil engineering, construction and general contracting. It also has associate members who provide valuable products, support and services to contractor members.

ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE NEW ZEALAND
Infrastructure New Zealand promotes best practice in national infrastructure development through research, advocacy and public and private sector collaboration. Members come from diverse sectors across New Zealand, equity owners, service providers, public sector agencies, and major infrastructure users.

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING AND ENGINEERING NEW ZEALAND
ACE New Zealand provides leadership, support and advocacy for the consulting and engineering sectors in Aotearoa. ACE represents over 200 consulting and engineering firms employing more than 13,000 staff. Our members are on the front lines of delivering critical construction and infrastructure and represent the essential expertise that Aotearoa will need as we look to the future.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River Recovery: Loader Driven By Russell Smith Recovered


A loader driven by former miner Russell Smith at the time of the Pike River Mine explosion has now been recovered from 1581m up the 2.3km drift access tunnel.
The recovery of the loader went smoothly and to plan. Pike River families were able to witness it being towed to a storage area, Chief Operations Officer Dinghy Pattinson says.
“We reached the loader at the end of last week, and then conducted a very deliberate and exacting forensic examination of the vehicle and operational zone... More>>

 

E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Government Delivers On Rental Reforms Promise

The Government has delivered on its promise to New Zealanders to modernise tenancy laws with the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020 today, says Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Kris Faafoi. “The Residential ... More>>

ALSO:

National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>

ALSO:

Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>

ALSO:

Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels