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Waterview Application A Boost For Hard Hit Contractors

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Transport Agency's application to have the Waterview Connection project considered under the new national consenting process has been welcomed by the New Zealand Contractors' Federation.

Chief Executive Jeremy Sole said news of the NZTA application, coupled with the announcement that work will start on the Lincoln Road interchange of the Northwestern Motorway this year, was a boost for the recession-hit contracting sector.

"The new process retains provision for strong public consultation while speeding up the implementation of a final outcome - which is good for the early release of the economic benefits of projects," said Mr Sole.

"That is certainly good news for contractors who are still feeling the effects of the recession, particularly as many of the projects announced in recent months won't be 'shovel-ready' for up to two years."

The Federation has been pressing for medium- to long-term certainty of forward work and Mr Sole said these, and other recent milestone developments announced as part of the Government's significant funding commitments, went a long way towards providing that.

However, he said the industry still needs more interim work to bridge the gap and maintain industry skills and capacity as it moves out of the recession and towards the significant amount of work scheduled for the next ten years

Mr Sole said the Government and NZ Transport Agency had been very sympathetic to the industry's plight and "pulled out all the stops" to get scheduled work into the market more quickly to ensure the industry could retain adequate capacity to deliver on intended infrastructure development initiatives.

"All this together will have a significant impact in mitigating the boom bust environment the industry has been dealing with for many decades," he said.

"Resolving this would create a healthier industry with greater confidence and reduced overall costs. Taxpayers would then benefit through getting more infrastructure built for the same amount of money."

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