As a nation, New Zealand is looking towards a new era of growth. The way we plan and build our cities and regions is an important part of this growth. We believe an industry-wide conversation about how best to tackle this future development is beneficial, and will help ensure robust and sustainable outcomes.
Our 2019 Sentiment survey has seen a marked improvement in industry confidence over last year’s survey. Given that the new government has now had over a year to implement its policies and demonstrate its vision for New Zealand and how it will interact with the infrastructure industry, this is perhaps not an unexpected result.
While optimism around delivery and investment for both the infrastructure and buildings sectors has improved, there remain several clouds on the horizon. Not only is the global economic backdrop somewhat uncertain, but the industry is still struggling with the usual problems: skills and material shortages; procurement processes that do not apportion risk equitably (and that erode trust); slim margins for firms operating in the sector; and, a short-term mindset that focuses on price at the expense of value. On top of this, the short length of New Zealand’s political cycle makes it more difficult than it should be to enact reforms and inhibits long-term planning by both businesses and government.
One of the other key themes that emerged from this year’s survey was the need for a clearer understanding of the future pipeline of work to give industry participants more certainty around planning for upcoming work and to allow them to build the right capacity to deliver essential infrastructure.
The tenth anniversary edition of the Sentiment report will launch on June 25 in Christchurch, New Zealand.