Building Resilience For a Stronger Future - Constructive 2020 Wrap Up

 30 November 2020

Our fifth Constructive Forum was a fantastic opportunity to bring the sector together and to engage with Government. I want to thank all those that attended one or all of the events, we value you taking the time to participate. All the Constructive events were recorded and are available to watch here.

Now that we have our new Government confirmed and ministerial portfolios have been announced, we have an indication of what the sector can expect over the next three years. We are pleased to see the government continue to prioritise infrastructure, now being led by our Deputy Prime Minister, and Finance Minister Hon Grant Robertson. There is also good continuity around housing and vocational education with Ministers Woods and Hipkins both retaining these key portfolios. We are also looking forward to engaging with the Hon Poto Williams, our new Minister for Building and Construction. 

The Government has announced a substantial work programme in replacing the Resource Management Act. While in principle this has cross-party support, it will not be quick or simple, but is crucial for our sector. We will continue to keep you updated on this. 

The Government has also announced a market study by the Commerce Commission on the cost of building supplies which will be of interest across the sector.

Supporting apprentices is a key focus, with the $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package taking us through the next two years. Off the back of this announcement, since July there has been a record jump in the number of registered carpentry apprentices, up by 17% compared to last year. This is important for our sector as we look to develop an ongoing pipeline of talent. 

At Constructive we were also pleased to hear from Minister Robertson that the Construction Sector Accord will continue to be a focus for the Government and used as a way to collaborate with the sector. The Accord will continue to play a role at our Constructive Forum, and we want to hear your views on what you think should be its next priorities. 

What Master Builders are doing to advocate for change

This year, Master Builders has also developed a policy paper, Building a better New Zealand, which outlines our recommendations for Government action.  

1. Improving building regulation systems
Our first priority is to improve building regulation systems. This is about rebalancing the building consent system to make it more efficient, easier to use and to allocate risk more appropriately. Rebalancing offers opportunities to establish more consistent national regulatory policies and systems, as well as providing greater clarity and certainty to the applicant and the building consent authority (BCA). The end result would see reduced time and financial costs and quicker delivery of commercial and residential projects.

2. Improving capability and capacity within the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme
We are also advocating a review of the Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme to improve its ability to support the wider building regulatory system. Strengthening the entry and renewal licensing requirements and processes is critical to lift building standards and improve consistency across the Scheme itself.

3. Stimulating residential construction demand
Our final recommendation provides tangible ways to stimulate residential construction demand. We recognise that the current recession is not predictable. Currently our sector is defying expectations with residential demand still at record levels. But we are also vulnerable to shocks, and when they come they can be swift and severe. We believe the Government needs to be ready to intervene directly to support the sector if needed, keeping businesses afloat and people in jobs if required. 

We need to avoid a repeat of the GFC, where between 2008 and 2011 housebuilding declined by 50 percent and the residential construction sector lost 25 percent of its workforce. It took seven years for sector employee levels to recover to pre-GFC levels. This had a major impact on New Zealand’s economy and directly contributed to the housing deficit we are still trying to rectify. 

We are discussing these proposals with many in the sector and across parliament. We look forward to continuing to work with decision-makers to deliver change which will mean a robust and resilient system that can deliver positive outcomes for all New Zealanders. 

We would value your views or any feedback you may have on our policy statement. Get in touch at

Introducing our Ministers

Key Ministers for Building and Construction 

Hon Grant Robertson 


- Deputy Prime Minister
- Minister of Finance
- Minister for Infrastructure 

Hon Dr Megan Woods
- Minister of Housing 

Hon Chris Hipkins 

- Minister for Covide-19 Response
- Minister of Education 
Hon Poto Williams 
- Minister for Building and construction
- Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing)

Hear from our sponsors
"Scenario has been delighted to have the opportunity to be involved as a sponsor for Constructive this year, having done the branding for the Forum since its inception. We were really impressed not only with the calibre of the speakers and their presentations, but with the breadth and depth of the topics covered. While we work with rather than in the construction sector, we found the content and insights immensely valuable.”
-       Joy Hellyer, Client Services Director, Scenario

“CARTERS was proud to sponsor Master Builders Constructive Forum this year. We are committed to building and construction and believe this Forum is an opportunity to help shape a vibrant and sustainable future for the sector. At CARTERS we continue to innovate and support our builders so they can deliver the economic, environmental and social outcomes New Zealand needs.”
-       Mike Guy, CEO, CARTERS
“GIB® is proud sponsor of Master Builders Constructive Forum given it provides a great opportunity for the industry to work more collaboratively together to help grow and improve building and construction in New Zealand.”
-       Gordon White, Residential Market Manager, GIB®