Finding out that construction was able to resume under Alert Level 3 was great news for the construction industry, those in need of homes and the wider economy, Joint Urban Development Delivery DCE Caroline McDowall says.

“It’s meant that our partners, and our suppliers, can get back onsite and help breathe life back into the sector.

“It also allows us at Kāinga Ora to continue in our important role of delivering state, affordable and market homes for Kiwis across the country.”

Once there was clarity around the types of work permitted under Alert Level 3, Kāinga Ora staff members, and build and development partners, worked together to ensure all health, safety and security checks, as well as preparation work, was complete, and carried out in accordance with the rules, before Tuesday 28 April.

This meant that more than half of the approximately 300 sites spread throughout New Zealand were open on day one of the change of alert levels and about three quarters were operating within the first week. “It really took an incredible combined effort by everyone involved to make this happen,” Caroline says.

At the same time as re-opening sites efficiently, our build and development partners needed to demonstrate they could comply with new health and safety protocols, including strict hygiene and physical distancing measures, in line with the Government CHASNZ COVID-19 Construction Protocols(external link), Caroline says.

“We’ve received good feedback this week that this is working well onsite. That’s great to hear because it’s imperative that we work together to do everything possible to keep our staff, construction workers, and the community, safe, as we all unite against COVID-19.”

Under Alert Level 4, Kāinga Ora focussed on supporting its partners and suppliers. The organisation introduced a number of solutions to increase cash flow and ease the financial burden felt by many, while also accelerating project planning to provide more work for our suppliers.

“As we move through the different COVID-19 alert levels, Kāinga Ora will continue to do everything possible to leverage our position as the country’s largest residential builder to support those we work closely with,” Caroline says.

Kāinga Ora also contributes to the wider sector response to COVID-19 as a member of the steering group for the Construction Sector Accord. This is the Government-industry group which is working together to maintain a viable construction industry and boost certainty during this period.

Four men standing at a construction site.

Left to right: Kāinga Ora building inspector Prajil Thomas with Constructa’s Peter Steyn (site manager), Bob Leyenaar (site manager) and Ben Price (director).

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Page updated: 1 May 2020