$50 million gondola proposal for Queenstown

A $50 million proposal has been made for the Queenstown-Remarkables alpine area, made by development company Porter Group Ltd.

The 9.8km long gondola would operate year-round; comprising of 140 eight-person cabins, with a vertical climb of 1270 metres.

“In winter the proposed gondola will give skiers, boarders and sightseers easy access to NZSki’s facilities. It will further boost Queenstown’s world-class visitor experience, and has the potential to deliver immeasurable economic benefits to the resort town’s many businesses,” says leading New Zealand tourism consultant Stephen Hamilton.

Submissions have been lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and a resource consent application will be lodged early next year. The gondola is estimated to take up to 18 months to build.

Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/queenstown-gondola-proposal-links-downtown-to-the-remarkables-ski-field-2015111914#ixzz3vZPAGLab

Wynyard Quarter a winner in world waterfront awards

It’s great to see New Zealand projects continuing to win awards on the global stage.

Recently, Panuku Development Auckland won Excellence for the urban renewal of the Wynyard Quarter, at the Waterfront Awards in Washington, D.C.

Construction is underway on 500 apartments, townhouses and 48,000 sqm of commercial space.

Panuku Development Auckland chief executive John Dalzell has explained the huge honour the award is, as the entry was competing against some waterfront development projects in Europe, Asia and North America.


A tale of two cities – AECOM survey results

The latest AECOM nationwide construction industry sentiment survey has found New Zealand’s infrastructure and building industry is defined by two contrasting poles – Auckland and Christchurch.

AECOM has explained results show that four years on from the Christchurch earthquake disaster, recognition of a longer, slower rebuild rather than a peak is broadening. This is shown by a dip in confidence – by 27% over the past 18 months – and easing workload expectations.

Importantly, though, while sentiment has moderated for the region, it does remain strong overall and more in line with a long-term outlook. There is a slowing of residential construction as the rebuild moves into the commercial phase.

Comparatively, positive sentiment was strong for the upper North Island, with 97% of survey respondents anticipating continuing growth in the industry, while skills and materials shortages remain one of the industry’s most significant and persistent challenges. New Zealand faces ongoing difficulties in increasing the volume of workers with technical capabilities and creating a more productive, skilled workforce.

“Of note, [the survey] highlights a continued disconnect between those involved in the respective investment and delivery sides of the infrastructure market…

“As an industry, we are continually challenged to do ‘more-for-less’. Lifting productivity in an environment of financial constraint means we need to invest in innovation and technology to achieve these competitive advantages,” said John Bridgman, AECOM Managing Director – New Zealand.”

Credit: http://www.aecom.com/co/press/aecoms-bi-annual-new-zealand-construction-market-sentiment-survey-now-available/

Largest playground in NZ opens

The Margaret Mahy Family Playground is a positive outcome of the Christchurch rebuild and has finally opened. The $20 million playground sits on a 1 hectare block in the central city.

Project development director Rob Kerr has explained the key concepts came from 8 & 9 year-olds – who wanted ‘lots of water’, flying foxes, tunnels and slides. As such, the playground has a high climbing tower, ‘mega-slide’, swings, spider climbing nets, a splash pad with water cannons, jets and sprinklers, among other amenities.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) chief executive John Ombler said the playground was believed to be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The design of the playground was led by Opus, with the job heading to Australian company PlayRope and a total site budget of $13 million.

Getting it Done: Utilising Womens’ Skills in the Workforce

Getting it Done: Utilising Womens’ Skills in the Workforce is a shared learning tool for employers, industry groups and training organisations to tackle the under-utilisation of women in trades.

In 2013 the Ministry for Women surveyed 500 Canterbury women about the construction industry. It found over half of respondents would consider employment in the industry, but were often put-off as jobs were viewed as ‘for men only’.

However, especially since the Christchurch earthquake, employers and recruiters alike are growing in appreciating the need to overtly call for women in employment advertising. A factor in this has been advances in health and safety issues; there is now less of a perception women are physically unable to ‘do the job’.

As the pressure for skilled staff continues to grow alongside a growing industry, so too grows the need to recruit all demographics. Any industry is always supported through diversity. The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team Women in Construction group was formed to raise the visibility of women working in the construction industry.

Even more exciting is a New Zealand female QS winning two high-profile Australian construction industry awards. Christchurch’s Lucy Eng, a project and cost manager with AECOM, won the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors Infinite Value Women in Construction and Professional of the Year awards.