November Construction News

Market Activity

SkyCity Convention Centre fire: Engineering report did not plan for roof blaze

A 2018 fire engineering report prepared for the SkyCity Convention Centre made no provision for the possibility of a blaze on the roof or for the straw insulation panels which appear to have fuelled the fire.  Those in the industry say that it is standard practice for fire engineering reports to exclude this information. Due to the Convention Centre still being under construction at the time of the fire, safety on the site was governed by health and safety legislation instead of the Building Code. Whether this approach to the Building Code should change will be considered as part of the ongoing investigation process into the fire.

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SkyCity Convention Centre fire: insurers to cover costs

Insurers of the SkyCity Entertainment Group have confirmed that they will pay out for the damage to the International Convention Centre and the Horizon Hotel caused by the October fire. Insurance will cover Fletcher Construction under its contract works and third-party liability. SkyCity have stated that third-party claims will be handled on a claim-by-claim basis.

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More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut

The construction sector is free to build more homes efficiently as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act. The proposed reforms seek to address the long-term challenge of housing shortages by making high-quality, large-scale manufacturing of prefab houses a reality. Manufacturers who prove their systems and processes are compliant will enjoy a new streamlined nationwide consenting process for prefab buildings. This process will enable mass production, reduce the number of building inspections for factory produced buildings in half, and remove the possible need for two separate consents.

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Shelly Bay land claim continues despite $500m plan getting resource tick

Members of Mau Whenua, a Taranaki iwi group who oppose the sale of iwi land at Shelly Bay, say that the recent granting of resource consent for the $500m development will not hinder its High Court action. Mau Whenua claim that selling the land breached the trust deed between Port Nicholson Settlement Trust and Shelly Bay Investments Limited (SBIL). Mau Whenua have lodged caveats against the titles of the disputed land, preventing the buyer from subdividing or transferring ownership of the land until the High Court determines the issue. The development is intended to include townhouses and flats, hotels, a rest home and a ferry terminal.

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Large retirement village in Meadowbank one step closer

Plans to build a $150 million development in Meadowbank are set to go ahead following a recent Environment Court decision. Planning commissioners rejected retirement village operator. Summerset’s initial proposal due to concerns about the impact of the scale and height of the development on the amenity of the area. Summerset appealed the decision to the Environment Court. After making amendments to the proposed project, the Court was satisfied that the modified proposal was appropriate and properly balances the interests of intensification with the need for compatibility with the residential environment.

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Law change allows earthquake prone building owners to do alterations

A recent law change allows owners of provincial buildings to do minor alterations without strengthening their entire building. Previously, owners who made improvements worth more than 25 per cent of the building’s value were required to pay for full seismic strengthening. The new rules, which came into effect on 16 December 2019, do not exempt owners from strengthening requirements, but allow them to make improvements of up to $150,000 before they are required to strengthen their entire building.

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Christchurch stadium plan facing funding shortfall of up to $60m

Private sector cash may be required to meet an up to $60m funding shortfall for Christchurch’s new stadium. A recent Treasury report indicates that there are significant risks associated with the project, including design or build delays, greater than expected maintenance or refurbishment and the risk that the quality of the facility will not be high enough to attract the events needed to provide the predicted economic benefits to Christchurch. The report considers that a public-private partnership (PPP) could help alleviate and manage these risks and refers to the new 60,000-seat Perth Stadium as an example of a successful PPP.

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Fletcher Building yet to reveal cost of two-year delay in completion of Christchurch Airport hotel

The significantly-delayed $80 million hotel, owned by the Christchurch Airport and to be run by hotel company Accor under its Novotel brand, has now opened to guests. The hotel was due to be completed by late 2017 but has been plagued with various issues, including the incorrect grade of steel being ordered, weather damage to the bathroom pods while they awaited installation, and various water leaks. The latest delay caused guests to be redirected to other accommodation. Fletcher Building are yet to disclose the cost of the delays.

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