April Construction News
MinterEllisonRuddWatts thought leadership session on project administration
In June, the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Construction Division will hold a session on project administration examining current problems and leadership issues. The session will cover:
- The role of the engineer in terms of the market, a lack of robustness in performance of the role in some areas, and delegation, training and experience in the process; and
- The perception by contractors that the Engineer is not impartial and over-reliance on the adjudication process.
See an outline of the sessions being held by our team here.
Government and industry players partner to tackle issues in construction sector
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has partnered with Fletcher Construction’s chief executive Peter Reidy and other industry players to form the Construction Sector Accord, designed to improve the construction sector’s culture and reputation, increase its workforce, and deliver more houses. The Accord comes in the wake of a string of construction company collapses, including Arrow International and Ebert Construction. The Accord seeks to change the way business is done in the construction sector, identifying the need for greater leadership and collaboration within the sector. Partner Janine Stewart has been appointed to the Accord.
Select Committee recommends Building Amendment Bill be passed
The Transport and Infrastructure Committee (Committee) has issued its report on the Building Amendment Bill (Bill), which was introduced to Parliament in August last year. The Committee recommended the Bill be passed with its proposed amendments (view the Committee’s report here).
The Bill is split into two parts, with Part 1 containing amendments to the Building Act and Part 2 containing amendments to the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002 (CDEMA) and the Search and Surveillance Act. The Bill seeks to create a clear system for how buildings will be managed and investigated in an emergency and provides territorial authorities with powers to investigate significant building failures and to determine the circumstances and causes of those failures. See our legislation update which summarises the key amendments proposed in the Bill.
The Committee received 25 submissions from interested groups and individuals in response to the Bill. Submitters included telecommunication companies Spark and 2Degrees, both of whom expressed their concern with the Bill cutting across important provisions in the CDEMA in respect of ‘Lifeline Utilities’. The Committee’s report did not propose any amendments addressing the concerns around how the proposed Act will affect lifeline utility providers. The majority of the proposed amendments included in the report aim to create more clarity and consistency in the Bill, rather than materially changing the rights and obligations provided for in the Bill.
The next stage of the legislative process is the Bill’s second reading, when Parliament will debate the contents of the Committee’s report and vote on the Bill.
Read more on this Bill including submissions to the Select Committee here.
Revamp for Rotorua Airport underway
Construction has begun on the multi-million dollar revamp of Rotorua Airport. Stage 1 includes the construction of a new arrivals terminal and a full repaint of the outside of the airport. Stage 2 will include the construction of new food and beverage outlets, a “piazza” and an outdoor courtyard area. Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb considers the developments are necessary to ensure Rotorua remains a top tourist destination and to keep pace with passenger growth.
Auckland developer invests in $1b Lakeview development
Auckland-based property investment company, Auckland Capital, has partnered with Melbourne developer, Ninety Four Feet, to develop a $1 billion commercial, residential and hotel development in Queenstown. The Lakeview development will be built over a 10-year period on the former Queenstown campground site.
SeaPath walking and cycling path in the works
The NZ Transport Agency has approved the North Shore SeaPath walking and cycling path, allowing it to move forward into the pre-implementation and consenting stage. The SeaPath will run along the landward side of the northern motorway between Northcote Point and Esmonde Road, allowing people to walk and cycle between areas on the North Shore. This will not only have benefits for people’s health and the environment, but will reduce the number of cars on the road and congestion.
Failure of Ebert Construction
National builder Ebert Construction has creditor claims of more than $45 million, which is greater than their asset base of $30.1 million. According to the receivers, Ebert Construction creditors were owed $33.8 million at the time of receivership. It is therefore unlikely that there will be any money left for unsecured trade creditors.
Prior to receivership, Ebert Construction was working on 15 projects last July, including construction of the Union Green Apartments in Auckland, which is now being finished off by Dominion Constructors.
Christchurch hospital building delayed and budget increased
The new acute services building, a major development to Christchurch hospital, has had its budget increased by the Ministry of Health from the original budget of $483 million. The building was initially meant to be completed by Australian company CPB in July 2018. However, project and worksite issues, a shortage of workers, and changes to the scope of the project have led to delays.
Weathertightness an issue for fewer Otago school buildings
The Ministry of Education has reduced its list of Otago school buildings with weathertightness issues from 20 to four following a re-check. Maniototo Area School and Lawrence Area School have not been included in the list of leaky buildings, as they were built before the leaky building period of 1994 to 2005 and now need to be redeveloped due to their age and condition. Construction on these school projects is expected to begin later this year at a cost of $11 million.
Record number of cranes in Auckland
A record number of 148 cranes are at work on construction sites in New Zealand. Auckland has the greatest number with 98 cranes, followed by 22 in Christchurch, and 10 in Queenstown. The increase in crane numbers is a reflection of the record levels of new building work, which rose 6.8% to $18 billion last year.