Infometrics March newsletter
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March 2018

This month Paul Barkle investigates the struggle to meet the demand for labour in the regions, and how the proposed ‘Regional Skills Shortage Lists’ may assist in future.

Gareth Kiernan takes a piercing look at Labour’s KiwiBuild policy and whether the numbers really stack up.

Electric cars are still a hot topic, and Mieke Welvaert takes a look at whether we have the infrastructure to handle a large electric vehicle fleet.

We wrap up with Gareth Kiernan’s examination of construction activity across the whole country and where there may be some hot spots other than Auckland.

Where can we find more skilled workers?
wp-skilled workers
We have heard a lot recently about the struggles to meet labour demand in the regions . With a tight labour market and low unemployment rate, stories of employers being unable to find enough workers are becoming increasingly common. This article looks at immigration, one of the key ‘cogs’ to helping address skills shortages. More specifically, we look at how the proposed ‘Regional Skills Shortage List’ could provide the necessary workers throughout the country.
KiwiBuild – otherwise known as “pulling numbers out of your arse”
wp-phil twyford
Since Labour came into power late last year, its KiwiBuild policy has been shrouded in confusion by contradictory statements from government departments and within the government itself about exactly what the policy means for the construction sector. Phil Twyford, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, has been adamant that “the overwhelming effect of the KiwiBuild plan will be to deliver new houses over and above what the private market is delivering.” He has been quick to downplay the possible crowding out of private sector work. Furthermore, the government had indicated that part of the policy was to buy some properties “off the plan”, yet Mr Twyford had seemingly contradicted this statement continually reiterated that KiwiBuild would result in an additional 10,000 dwellings being built per year over and above what the market would otherwise have delivered.
How big an EV fleet can New Zealand’s grid handle?
Does New Zealand have the infrastructure to support a large electric vehicle fleet? For this article I’ve run some numbers on how many EVs the New Zealand grid can handle.
There’s more to construction than just Auckland
Residential construction in Auckland accounted for almost a quarter of all nationwide building activity during 2017, with Auckland’s non-residential construction taking that share up to 38%. So it’s little surprise that the region’s prospects dominate industry commentary.