Fletcher CEO: Construction accord is a 'game changer' for industry

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Politics Central,
Publish Date
Sunday, 14 April 2019, 4:43p.m.
Peter Reidy says that government and industry are committed to taking the pressure off of the industry. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Fletcher Construction CEO Peter Reidy says a new Construction Industry Accord will create safer and healthier workplaces.

The accord, announced today, calls on the industry, its clients and the Government to change the way they work together.

It's so they can jointly tackle systemic problems that have led to high-profile building company collapses, poor-quality builds and skills shortages.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the wellbeing of New Zealanders is intrinsically linked to safe, durable and affordable homes, buildings and infrastructure.

She says to meet the future needs of New Zealand, both Government and industry recognise they need to work differently.

Reidy developed the accord with the government, and says it's a game changer for the industry.

"If we can improve the contracts and not make them so risky that people take shortcuts, that will have a positive impact on the way people feel about the project when they get up in the morning and go to work."

He says the government and industry have committed to taking the pressure out of projects.

"We've started to get industry leaders now to say that if the Government's prepared to look at it, we'll come to the table. It's a real partnership. This is step one of a catalyst of change."

Reidy told The Weekend Collective that construction is very fragmented, with a lot of smaller builders making up the bulk of the industry. 

"The Government's asked how we can incorporate the people and understand what the issues are." 

One issue that the Government has acknowledged that they need to look at how contracts are awarded for big contracts, where price has normally been the key determent.

"It's always going to be a key criteria, but what Government's now saying is if there is another lens with which we can also review around larger construction and what outcomes are we looking for for the country." 

Factors such as what the commitment to workforce training and capacity will be amongst the new considerations. 

Reidy says the next step is engaging with the wider industry about what the next steps are.