At Pink Bins, construction is a large part of our business. So, with the election ‘done and dusted’ and Kiwis breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the country has moved to alert-level-1, where does the industry stand?
A rocky road ahead
Over recent years, the $60-billion a year construction and infrastructure industry has had many challenges — a scarcity of quality tradespeople and materials and wafer-thin profit margins, for example. Therefore, we needed COVID-19 like a proverbial ‘poke in the eye.’
Having endured a blanket ‘downing of tools’ to contain the virus, it will surprise nobody that a May survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed tough time ahead. These include job losses, slim margins and reduced activity. And, it seems that SMEs are the most pessimistic about the ‘new normal,’ where as the big guys feel more able to cope.
The news is not all bad
Let’s not get too negative, though. Things could be much worse — look at what’s happening overseas.
And, the Government is putting things in place to keep the industry ticking over. One initiative is the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme that was announced in the May Budget. The programme will fund roads, rail, schools and hospitals. And, in August, the Government announced a new $350 million fund ‘earmarked’ to support the housing and construction sector. Known as the Residential Development Response Fund, it comprises $100 million from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and $250 million from KiwiBuild.
So, good things are happening.
Pink Bins moving forward
Thankfully for us, we were able to service some ‘essential’ clients during lockdown. And, like most Kiwi businesses, we have used the COVID crisis to re-evaluate our procedures, so we reckon that we’re smarter and stronger than before.
Kiwis are resilient. And, even if COVID lingers for years to come, we’re confident that our business — and other progressive Kiwi businesses — have the skills and determination to continue to prosper.
Bring it on, COVID. Do your worst!