An Analysis of the Contriburtion of New Zealand's Construction Sector to the National Economy
New Zealand’s built infrastructure underpins this country’s economic activity. The transportation network enables people to be mobile; housing and buildings give people their living and work space; and water supply, and sewage and refuse disposal systems support a healthy lifestyle. All New Zealanders benefit from a robust and cost effective built infrastructure. The main contributor to infrastructure development and maintenance is the construction industry. New Zealand construction activity is concentrated and location specific. The Auckland region alone accounts for around half of all construction value in New Zealand based on building consents issued, dominated by residential building activity. The importance of the construction industry in the overall economic performance of a country has been acknowledged internationally, but as yet not in New Zealand. A review of construction industry statistics and opinion shows that there are major issues related to profitability and cost efficiency and that New Zealand is not achieving international levels of best practice. There is significant concern amongst industry participants at the overall performance of the sector and a view that New Zealand could do better. In particular, it is felt that the adoption of improved practices in procurement and delivery of construction could lead to benefits at both the national and enterprise level. The purpose of this research paper is to: 1. establish the contribution of the construction industry to the New Zealand economy; 2. show evidence of improvements that have been made elsewhere through construction best practice programmes; 3. identify and characterise the nature of research and improvements in the construction sector currently being undertaken in the New Zealand industry; and 4. identify the drivers of change. By providing insights into the needs of the sectors and what drives change, the Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAE) intends that this report will assist in bringing about improvements in the procurement and delivery of New Zealand’s built infrastructure.