|New Zealand’s structural steel industry says the recent announcement of a planned new investment fund for the Christchurch rebuild is good news for the city, however it remains to be seen whether it will end up costing Kiwis their jobs.
Steel Construction New Zealand Manager Alistair Fussell says he welcomes initiatives which help deliver the high-quality building and infrastructure projects needed to rebuild Christchurch.
“On the face of it, it is good news for Christchurch, especially if it helps speed up development. But we’re reserving judgement until more is known about the downstream effects of this agreement between Guoxin International and Christchurch City Council.
“Our main concern is that importing capital, materials and skills from overseas could lead to the loss of local jobs – not just in the structural steel industry, but right across the building supply chain.”
There is a proven economic case for awarding tenders to local suppliers, says Mr Fussell.
“A New Zealand fabrication firm recently bid for a structural steel contract worth $34 million. However, keeping it local would attract an additional GDP contribution of $14.1 million – an economic multiplier of 1.4 – as well as a tax contribution of $3.3 million.