visionary thinking

Construction Sector Accord Process

This weekend the 14th April 2019, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the creation of a "Construction Sector Accord" with the intention of ending New Zealand's "litany of sub-standard building".

The assumption behind the Construction Sector Accord is that a "process" will lead to a solution. History tells us this is rarely the case. The Special Housing Accords promoted by the last government to target "Affordable Housing" is a recent topical example.

The Government line-up presenting this "Accord" included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern along with her Minister of Building and Construction. Minister of Housing and Urban Development Philip Twyford and the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees Galloway.

The most interesting fact about this government group is not a single one holds a qualification or has experience that would confirm they are capable of ending the "litany of sub-standard building" in New Zealand.

They were joined by Peter Reidy, CEO of Fletcher Construction, while he does have a history of working in construction he has only just taken over a company with a recent history or poor performance his qualifications begin with accountancy.

My conclusion is this; the government and its supportive bureaucracy has tried to fix these problems for decades and is in effect acknowledging it does not know what to do. To move forward has initiated a process to encourage those to do to speak out. Communication is a process that is not only about listening and talking. It is also about filtering out the loud and hearing the quiet. It is about encouraging those who cannot be heard or reluctant to speak.

For this process to avoid garbage in garbage out, my suggestions are:

1. If you want to design a building hire an Architect, if you want to build hire a Builder rather than a lawyer, accountant, unionist, communicator, politician or journalist. i.e get the right people.

2. Set clear goals

3. Quality Control, measure and check performance

4. Remember your history. Traditions become traditions for a reason.

And in closing hope for the best.