What are we here for? CanConstructNZ is an initiative that can transform the construction sector. It is a concept that creates reactions from people across our network such as ‘NZ needs this, make it happen’.
It is an MBIE-funded research and development programme to establish an enduring ability for reliable views of construction sector workload on one hand and the capacity and capability of the sector to deliver work on the other. We will develop a smart system (comparator mechanism) to process supply and demand information, incorporating risks and uncertainties, generating targeted reports for a variety of users.
There will be many users, each with different perspectives and needs. We call them Use Cases. For example, a Minister of the Crown may want to know whether the election promises are being achieved. A Mayor may want to know whether the roading in a 10-year plan will cause too much pressure on the sector locally. A leader in the sector may want an objective view of impending residential work in their region, and so on.
It will enable both the creators of assets and the construction sector to plan and progress work in a smooth sequence, avoiding peaks and troughs, boom and bust cycles, creating a balance of supply and demand.
We have a little over 20 people engaged in activities, five international academic advisors and approximately 12 external advisors from the construction sector.
We are embarked on an evolutionary process, from understanding what information is available, how limited information might be used to provide use case answers, progressive engagement of authorities and players to provide more and better data, and the evolution of the comparator mechanism that interrogates and reports.
We have persuaded three quite different organisations to share a limited set of data with us, ‘as is’. These organisations are very important to us and are expected to provide ongoing engagement with our research and development, in enduring relationships, enabling growth and development of data capture and processing.
We have challenged our five research and development teams to consider this data and describe how it might be used to generate use case advice, with the added complications of identifying shocks and stresses that may impact the pipeline of projects coming from the data providers or that part of the sector.
We have charged our teams to provide concise reports on their observations, interpretations, analysis, views, and predictions, with conclusions that are able to be passed on to our stakeholders.
From 1 August 2022 until 30 June 2023, we will extend our work with the current data providers, shaping prediction data to our needs, seeking historical data, and inviting collaboration. At the same time, we will engage with other parties in parallel, seeking sector observational data and new ‘client’ data.
We expect to generate a working comparator for several use cases within six months.
The concept is consistent with both the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga ‘New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy’ and the Transformation Plan of the Construction Sector Accord.