Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa has no real idea of why the building sector is in crisis, National’s Building and Construction spokesperson Andrew Bayly says.
Mr Bayly asked in Parliament’s Question Time today technical questions to Ms Salesa regarding Government construction procurement and whether construction costs would increase as a result of enforcing whole-of-life costing.
“Unfortunately, the only outcome of the emergency meeting Ms Salesa convened on Monday to address issues surrounding procurement was a statement that she would make sure Government agencies adhere to the procurement guidelines.
“But after being questioned in the House today about which Government agencies she was talking about and what procedures she will put in place to make sure they stick to the guidelines, she had no substantive answers.
“It is clear that the Minister is insufficiently aware of what those guidelines entail.
“What we have here is a Minister who can’t answer technical questions central to the procurement issue. She needs to know her stuff.
“Even more crucially, she also needs to recognise and deal with the underlying causes of the problems dogging the industry.
“Government procurement makes up around 18 per cent of the vertical construction sector.
“And while procurement is essential – and some agencies do it well, and some agencies don’t - it’s not the only pressing issue facing the construction industry.
“It is also suffering significant impact from increasing consenting costs and lack of skilled labour as well as problems with the rules around building product standards.
“The Minister needs to understand those underlying problems are even more critical than procurement.
“Her lack of knowledge around the crucial issues is the most disturbing aspect of this whole scenario.”
The Government’s decision to suspend certificates for combustible cladding similar to that found in horrific Grenfell Tower fire is welcomed by National Party Building and Construction spokesperson Andrew Bayly.
Today the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment announced it has suspended of six aluminium composite panel (ACP) CodeMark certificates. The Grenfell Tower residential high-rise fire in London killed 72 people after cladding on the building combusted.
“It has taken the Government too long to take action given that a report damning the certification of these aluminium composite panels in New Zealand was delivered to the Government in November last year,” Mr Bayly says.
“This is a good decision and also acknowledges the work of others to bring this to the attention of the Government.
“However, the suspension continues to raise the issue of the integrity of the CodeMark system which is the highest standard of certification of new products able to be used in New Zealand.
“In particular, it also raises issues around Brisbane-based CertMark which issued this particular set of ACP certifications, but also prepares approximately 50 per cent of all new product certifications in the New Zealand market.
“There is still a range of substandard materials coming into New Zealand, including substandard electrical cabling which has been used in multiple Auckland apartments, structural steel and plumbing ware, and shower glass that doesn’t meet safety requirements.
“Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa must address the integrity of CodeMark and I will continue to hold the Government to account to ensure that it learns from overseas experience and keeps New Zealanders safe.”
Recently convened a meeting of many of the providers of community services in Franklin to discuss how we can collaborate better in order to assist our families in need. The first step is to get everyone to put their contact details on Healthpoint, a website run by CMDHB so we know who to contact.