There has never been a better time to be looking for a construction job in New Zealand. With a strong national economy and increasing population, buildings are popping up left, right and centre.
But as we continue to recover from the Christchurch earthquakes, it is not only the Canterbury region that is in need of building up. Across the country, demand for housing and development is seeing the construction sector reach new heights, particularly in Auckland.
So what is driving the positive opportunities in the industry?
Auckland is the centre for major developments, but the rest of the industry isn't showing signs of slowing.
New Zealand hits a never-before-seen construction boom
At the end of June, the Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith announced that the construction sector is the healthiest it has ever been in New Zealand history. Covering commercial, infrastructure and residential work, construction rates have reached an unprecedented rate of $17.8 billion for the year gone. Even once inflation has been accounted for, this level of investment has never been seen in New Zealand before.
"The construction sector is booming, with strong residential and commercial building activity across the country," said Mr Smith.
"This continues the longest and strongest period of growth in residential construction in New Zealand history."
The residential market in particular has been strong as councils and developers respond to the housing demand, creating many opportunities for trade workers. Throughout the nation, 28,387 residential houses were given building consent, with Auckland increasing its growth in residential construction by 26 per cent alone.
"This continues the longest and strongest period of growth in residential construction in New Zealand history," explained Mr Smith. "We are on track for 85,000 new homes to be built nationwide in this term of Parliament, up from 60,000 last term. Auckland is heading for an all-time record of 36,000 homes – the largest in any Parliamentary term."
Mr Smith also explained that, to make sure that this growth was continued, government initiatives were in the works. One that was recently announced by Prime Minister John Key in early July is a $1 billion fund to help councils around New Zealand develop the critical infrastructure. Available for Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Queenstown, this fund will enable councils to support the residential and commercial construction required for ongoing population growth, who are forecasted to expand 10 per cent over the coming decade.
The spotlight for development centres on Auckland
Auckland Mayor Len Brown told the New Zealand Herald that he was overjoyed with the infrastructure fund.
"This is a welcome proposal for all high growth areas, but in particular Auckland where we face significant housing challenges," he said.
For instance, the third National Construction Pipeline report prepared by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) released last year forecasting that over 94,000 houses were to be built between the start of 2013 and the end of 2020 in Auckland alone. However, based on more recent trends mentioned above, it is likely that this number will be even higher.
New Zealand has never seen so much invested in residential property construction.
It is more than just the residential construction market making noise in our most populous region. The MBIE report suggested that 40 per cent of development in the region was to be outside of this sector. And it makes sense, especially when we look at some of the projects mentioned in the MBIE report.
In Auckland, these include a $500-million 36-level glass skyscraper on Queen Elizabeth Square, SkyCity's international conference centre and commercial buildings in Wynyard Quarter. Additionally, several civil developments are beginning around the city, including major developments to the Auckland City Rail Link, the new Waterview Connection motorway network, as well as an expansion of Auckland Prison.
This means that industrial workers at all levels will be needed in the near future, from experienced engineers to general labourers in a variety of trades and specialties.
"We're struggling like the rest of the construction sector to find people to do the work."
Auckland becoming a hub for ongoing blue collar work
Even now, one of the major programmes nearing completion in Auckland is at risk of stalling because of a lack of workers.
Chorus Chief Executive Mark Ratcliffe explained to the New Zealand Herald in early July that, while the the ultra-fast fibre network has been rolled out over most of the country, 40 per cent still needs to be completed in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. With the roll out not expected to be completed until the end of 2019, this creates immediate opportunities for both domestic and international recruits, according to Mr Ratcliffe.
"We need technical skills and we're struggling like the rest of the construction sector to find people to do the work," he said.
"We connect about 600 customers a day to the network, which is double what we were doing this time last year. That's all new work, so it needs new people to join the industry."
If you are excited by the development in the big smoke but need a hand getting involved in some of the opportunities, then we are here to help. As New Zealand's leading industrial recruitment company, if you are seeking an engineering, construction or labour job, then look no further than Tradestaff.
about 5 years ago by Will Percy