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Construction industry in New Zealand - statistics & facts

The construction industry in New Zealand contributes significantly to the country's economy. The GDP contribution of the construction industry reached over 15.8 billion New Zealand dollars in the year ended March 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, over 170 thousand people were employed in this industry; a significant increase from just a decade prior. The value of building consents issued across residential, non-residential, and infrastructure sectors has increased for the most part year-on-year, with employment in these respective sectors following a similar trend.

In the North Island, population growth has propagated residential sector construction in Auckland. In the South Island, the Christchurch post-earthquake rebuild was responsible for the majority of construction sector work. The leading regions in terms of the value of construction work in New Zealand were Auckland, Canterbury, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington. The demand for construction-related occupations in all these regions except for Canterbury was expected to continue to rise. Despite the seemingly endless construction boom, problems with the building industry have been unveiled through recent major company collapses. The coronavirus pandemic also led to a slight decline in construction work in 2020.

Auckland residential construction

The Auckland region leads the nation in terms of total construction work value, particularly in regards to residential construction. The change in the number of new dwellings consented in the Auckland region has continually been positive over the past few years, driven by a strong demand for residential homes. The New Zealand Government as well as the Auckland Council have pledged to build 50,000 new homes in response to housing shortages.

Aucklanders have faced increasing housing costs as a result of these shortages, with the average cost of a residential property surpassing one million New Zealand dollars in most Auckland districts. Major companies in the residential construction market in Auckland included Fletcher Construction, Changda, Metlifecare, Oceania Group, CMP Construction, and G.J. Gardner Homes.

Infrastructure development is going strong

Transport infrastructure construction dominated infrastructure projects in New Zealand. Companies such as Fletcher Building and Fulton Hogan have established themselves among the market leaders of civil construction projects in the country. The nation's infrastructure needs have evolved as the population has expanded. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission (Te Waihanga) was established in 2019 to develop a 30-year infrastructure strategy for the country. The strategy aims to layout the pipeline for major infrastructure projects based on long-term trends, economic performance, and social wellbeing.

Resilience in construction

Recently, the New Zealand Government announced plans to partner with New Zealand’s largest construction companies in a bid to address the recent issues of high-profile construction company collapses, poor-quality builds, and skilled labor shortages. The Construction Sector Accord aims to identify areas of concern in the construction sector, as well as developing a strategy on how to fix them. The Accord has been signed by many different companies across various industries with interests in the construction sector, including Downer, Watercare, Fonterra, and Tonkin & Taylor. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the construction sector has had to deal with challenges such as reduced cashflow, workforce disruption, and uncertainty in future projects. Because of this, the focus of the Accord has shifted towards industry resilience and recovery.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Construction industry in New Zealand".

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