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What’s Causing the Poor Productivity in the Construction Industry?
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21 Sep 2020

What’s Causing the Poor Productivity in the Construction Industry?

Now that we’ve had a change of leadership in the National Party, there’s a new spokesperson for the building and construction industry. His name is Tim van de Molen and he appears to be genuinely interested in fixing the problems and delays the construction industry has experienced this past year. 

Covid-19 has created issues and problems on a global scale. In fact, the world has ever seen such activity before. There have been job losses, border closures, travel restrictions and even lockdowns. However, it’s important for the world economies to get back to work. But how does that look on a day-to-day basis? Is it truly safe to get out and go about life the way we used to? These are some of the issues facing our leaders. 

Just like so many others, the building and construction industry was shut down during the Alert Level 4. This has resulted in significant construction project delays. The results have been disastrous for many construction companies. From cost overruns to pressure to get projects completed, there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty in the construction world. Many now feel that the government did not handle things as well as they could have. With social distancing, the wearing of masks and a few other precautions, construction projects could have continued with relative ease. 

The new leadership seems to have some good perspectives in ways we can improve the building and construction sector. Over the next few months, these leaders will be engaging with key stakeholders to test some of these new ways that New Zealand’s economic health can recover. 


The health impact of Covid-19 was felt all over the world; not just in New Zealand. Though we’ve all come through a major health crisis, it’s time now to get the world back to work. And yet we are finding some systemic issues that are restricting productivity in many areas including construction.

One of the ways that many leaders believe we can move forward successfully is by removing government requirements regarding small building projects. As long as building standards are maintained, there’s no reason for construction projects to be held up due to minor governments regulations.

It often takes far too long to get the proper permits, consents and inspections done. This not only holds up the construction project but it also negatively impacts everyone’s bottom line. Customers are not happy.

Another area that will require strong focus is the workforce. At the moment, there are not enough trained construction workers in New Zealand to handle the workload. This could be dealt with in several different ways. The government is talking about offering free apprenticeships in order to draw more workers into construction. There could also be incentives to draw offshore construction workers to New Zealand.

Technology could be utilized to make the construction process move along at a faster pace. Updating the building code may also be necessary so that it incorporates a wider variety of building designs including apartments, modular buildings, multistory buildings and terraced housing.

How to drive the improvements we need to see

As the days move forward, we may all need to rethink our old philosophies when it comes to construction. This is something that will provide jobs that people desperately need but also this is something that will stimulate New Zealand’s economic recovery. We must all work together if we are to see life return to normal in our world.

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