A young man wakes up on a crisp morning before heading into work on a high-profile construction site in Wellington. He routinely takes the first hit of his bong for the day. After breathing in the thick smoke and releasing it into the air, he chucks on his work boots and jacket to meet his ride at the front gate.
Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission.
Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard, and the only Māori member.
He is currently the National Secretary for the Amalgamated Workers Union, which covers construction, infrastructure, building products, and public transport.
Amalgamated Workers' Union Northern National Secretary Maurice Davis tells Lynn Freeman he wants an inquiry into PPP's (Public Private Partnerships) procurement process, suggesting there should be a single desk procurement agency in place.
This follows concerns about Transmission Gully's cost blow out, its members' recent wait to get back to work on the billion dollar twenty-seven km stretch of motorway north of Wellington, NZ's biggest ever PPP, which has been troubled by contractors leaving before lock-down, and whose completion date is as yet unclear.
A union leader is calling on the government to speed up major infrastructure projects to offset job losses in the construction sector.
Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, yesterday announced it was cutting 1000 jobs in New Zealand and 500 in Australia, reducing its workforce by 10 percent.
It is the latest company to undertake significant cost-saving measures in the wake of Covid-19.
The Fletcher Building announcement came less than a week after the government laid out a recovery plan in the Budget that leans heavily on the construction of major infrastructure projects.
Workers building the delayed billion-dollar Transmission Gully project now face potential redundancies thinning their ranks.
About 88 staff working with the joint venture CPB-HEB could be made redundant.
Amalgamated Workers Union national secretary Maurice Davis said the union was contacted last Friday about a proposed restructure, including the 88 redundancies.
"Over the weekend we were having conversations, but come Monday they have postponed it and put it on hold for a week for negotiations with the NZTA."
Unions Propose Sensible Change To Stimulate Economy
This global pandemic has created an opportunity to reset New Zealand’s economic priorities. A new negotiated Social Responsibility Pact needs to be worked through prior to us getting through this pandemic. This crisis demonstrates the lacking’s in the past economic structure in protecting and serving ordinary people and therefore presents an opportunity for the biggest cultural change since the Great Depression. Although what is stated below is employment centric only, the pact proposed should include housing, health, education and all types of insurance.
Union Launching NZ Made Campaign In Infrastructure Projects
Maurice Davis, AWUNZ National Secretary and Union leader says; Shayne Jones and Phil Twyford have the opportunity to lead NZ into economic recovery.
All Infrastructure Projects need to require a “NZ Made first” component in the contracts to protect and nurture organic manufacturing.
We cannot simply return to life as normal after Covid-19. Countries around the world are looking at ways to get manufacturing back up and running and NZ should be doing the same.
Govt to consider levy on log exports to ensure home supply
Shane Jones Responds to Challenge from AWUNZ Union
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has conceded the Provincial Growth Fund should have created more jobs after an attack by a union boss.
"We've disappointed a lot of rural communities that thought the dough would flow much quicker into their communities," Jones said.
Union tells Shane Jones to restrict wood exports overseas or 'voters will cut him down
Forestry Minister Shane Jones has instructed officials to explore law changes that would ensure wood product is prioritised for New Zealand-based projects after the COVID-19 lockdown, instead of it being shipped overseas.
It comes as the union representing construction and infrastructure workers, AWUNZ, called for help from Jones to introduce forestry quotas and regulation to prevent "foreign-driven forest obliteration" after the lockdown.