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We are some of thousands of construction workers back on the tools today, playing a key part in cranking up New Zealand’s economic wheel.
Classic Builders is one of the country’s largest group home builders so being given the green light to return to work under New Zealand’s COVID-19 Level 3 structure has been a great relief.
“It has been a tough time for everyone in the construction industry - and others too - with income streams at a stand-still and outgoings to service,” says director, Matt Lagerberg.
With 260 staff covering the Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Northland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Waikato, Matt says “Our staff are geared up, ready, and itching to go. They’re keen to get back out there and do what we do best – build quality homes for Kiwis”.
The fact the construction industry is back at work comes with many positive downstream effects, says Matt.
“It’s great for the supply chain and breathes life into many small and medium-sized businesses. Bricklayers, labourers, electricians, plumbers, roofers, tilers, those involved in earthworks and drainage, and product suppliers… all represent subcontractors and suppliers relieved to be back at work.”
Classic Builders has hundreds of homes underway that need to be completed.
“We are acutely aware that this lockdown period will be causing many of our waiting clients a lot of uncertainty. For them to see us back on site, and their homes progress, will hopefully give them assurance and confidence that we will deliver – and it will put a smile on our faces too because there is nothing more satisfying that handing over the keys to someone’s brand new home.”
Preparation for the Tuesday return-to-work date had included liaising with the company’s subcontractor and supplier network to ensure all on-site requirements around health and safety were understood.
“The team has been working virtually to set us up to meet COVID-19 protocols and get our big operation running again. The way we work is going to be quite different, but we are confident we can get the job done safely and deliver quality homes. We have a fantastic team culture and while half of us will have to stick with virtual meetings and client consultations via video conferencing, our construction managers are super excited about getting back on site and doing what they do best,” says Matt.
Classic Builders Co-Director Peter Cooney has been involved in Government discussion around establishing the construction industry’s COVID-19 on-site protocols and assures that the construction industry is perfectly poised to operate under Level 3 restrictions. It already has the most stringent health and safety rules in play, with relevant protocols like signing in and out of every site being the norm. Setting up sanitisation sites and managing the flow of subcontractors, etc, onto sites is doable – the latter is especially easy to achieve with single level homes, as per the bulk of Classic Builders houses.
Pete says a COVID-19 vaccine and the re-opening of borders will spell great things for NZ.
“We have received world-wide attention for our handling of COVID-19. There will be immigration demand and expats wanting to return home. We will be seen as a safe haven – the Switzerland of the South Pacific.”