Our economy is already struggling under COVID-19. So, it's a massive concern to me that some local government entities are taking an austerity-based approach, by slashing projects and spending.
Simply put, this will cost jobs at a time when we desperately need to be protecting employment.
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It's a surefire way to turn a recession into a depression, and not in-line with the government's plans for an infrastructure-led recovery.
I empathise with councils; after all, I've been a local government employee. I know they are between a rock and a hard place.
I recognise that councils have to proactively and prudently manage their expenses, but there's a need to be future-focused too.
In my view, councils can't solve this on their own. They will need central government support.
The government must consider extraordinary funding actions outside of those commonly available, including co-funding of activities, consideration of debt limits and potentially debt relief.
With this in mind, please see a letter I wrote to the Minister of Finance expressing my concerns
Returning to work under Alert Level 3
The construction industry is working collaboratively across government, Construction Sector Accord member groups and client organisations to develop safe return to work processes for all who work in and around the construction sector.
For businesses to open under Alert Level 3, they will, at a minimum, have to be able to implement good health and safety processes, including physical distancing, hygiene and tracking of persons that address risks posed by COVID-19.
To provide support for the sector, the industry advisory groups have developed a set of standards, principles and protocols that cover how our businesses and employees might return to work safely. This guidance is currently being developed and tested with cross-sector industry panels, including the government.
The first document of the framework, the COVID-19 Standard for New Zealand Construction Operations has been released.
The standard covers the high-level principles for construction-related activity carried out by businesses and minimum requirements for operating safety during COVID-19 alert levels 2 and above. The standard covers:
- horizontal (civil),
- vertical (commercial), and
The standard is underpinned by protocols currently being developed for horizontal, vertical, and residential operations. The protocols will cover how the requirements described in the standard can be carried out consistently across the industry.
The work is a high priority, and the protocols will be finalised this week. For the latest developments, visit the CHASNZ website
We've moved our events to webinars:
Sales coaching with Keith Dugdale
11am, Monday 20 April
Keith Dugdale of The Business of Trust will be answering your questions on business development and sales challenges we're all currently facing. From how to not jump on an opportunity too soon, to whether you should be discounting during COVID-19.
Work-life balance and mental resilience with Tony Harrison
10am, Wednesday 29 April
Tony Harrison, Technical Director at Urban Connection, shares his story on the mental, physical and family health adjustment he went through to get a good work-life balance in this 1-hour webinar, free for ACE members. His story is even more potent in the wake of COVID-19 and the additional challenges this has placed on us all.
Data protection essentials with Paul Ramsbottom
10am, Thursday 7 May
Managing Director at Advanced Solutions International, Paul Ramsbottom will explain how to protect data and safeguard your organisation's reputation by mitigating risk. Gain valuable insights to help protect your organisation before a data breach occurs.
Catch up on our past webinars
If you've missed any of our recent webinars, watch the recordings:
- Working more productively at home with Debbie Mayo-Smith
- Building and maintaining client relationships in challenging times with Keith Dugdale and Jon Huxley
- Value-based pricing with Blair Enns
The changing face of construction
Could the government create a Ministry of Works style department to ensure it can take a more hands-on approach in the construction sector?
New proposals for Hamilton growth
Hamilton City Council has developed 23 detailed and costed infrastructure proposals that will create jobs and be shovel-ready within six months.
Fulton Hogan response to COVID19
Fulton Hogan is asking 5000 staff to take two weeks annual leave, in addition to receiving the government's wage subsidy, as COVID19 hits construction hard.
Tauranga infrastructure on hold
Increasing financial pressure has forced the Tauranga City Council to defer work on the Waiari Water Supply Scheme and Harington St Transport Hub.
Auckland Council pushes pause
Auckland Council has paused non-essential external work involving consultancy and project management services to control costs.
Wider footpaths to combat COVID?
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says planning is underway for expanded footpaths and temporary cycleways so people can maintain physical distancing.
Road deaths fall during the lockdown
The falling traffic count on our roads has resulted in 16 fewer lives being lost so far in 2020 when compared with the same period over the last four years.
Lowering our use of fossil fuels
There are calls for the New Zealand government to lead the charge on the development of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty
Raye Powell believes we now have a more sophisticated understanding of the value of women in engineering
Raye Powell joined the engineering industry 20 years ago. Now, she believes there's a much more sophisticated understanding of the value of women in the sector.
Associate Director in the Civil Infrastructure Division at AECOM, Raye talks to us about her career, her love of running and winning gold at the 2019 ACE Awards for her work on the Waitangi Wharf on the Chatham Islands.
Kia pai tō rā, Paul and the ACE New Zealand team