Number of cranes goes sky-high

The construction boom is seeing an unprecedented number of cranes rise across New Zealand’s cities, according to research released today. The Q2 2017 RLB Crane Index revealed a record 132 cranes towering over New Zealand’s cities, with Auckland alone accounting for 72.

crane

“In Auckland, in particular, strong economic growth driven by high inward migration and increasing tourist numbers, along with solid housing activity, manufacturing and consumer spending, has seen the rock star economy continuing to drive the construction industry, where demand is stretching the current supply,” said Chris Haines, Rider Levett Bucknall’s Auckland Director.

“Auckland continues to dominate New Zealand skies with 72 long-term cranes, 55 per cent of all cranes observed across the seven key centres,” Haines said. “The current index highlights a 13 per cent increase in the number of cranes within the Auckland region since the last count in Q4 2016. Twenty-three new cranes have been erected and 15 have been removed from projects that are nearing completion.” Construction work put in place increased by 20 per cent in the 2016 calendar year, making it the fifth consecutive year of growth.

Source:

  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald
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Residential building consents rebound after two month slump

SCCZEN_A_140411NZHPEHOUSE4_620x310New Zealand building consents for residential housing, excluding apartments, rose to a six-and-a-half year high in March, snapping two months of decline.

Excluding apartments and units, which are typically volatile from month to month, seasonally adjusted consents rose 1.3 percent to 1,813 units in March, the most since November 2007, according to Statistics New Zealand. Including apartments, seasonally adjusted new dwelling consents rose 8.3 percent to 1,999.

Annual residential issuance rose 30 percent to 22,366 from a year earlier. Stripping out apartments, annual permits for new building rose 25 percent to 19,768.

“The building industry is well positioned for strong growth in quake-related activity in Canterbury this year, and to a lesser degree, a lift from depressed levels in the Auckland market,” Michael Gordon, senior economist at Westpac said in a note.

Issuance of new building permits has been on the rise as the Canterbury rebuild and a housing shortage in Auckland fuel demand for property. Increased construction activity is seen as one of the major drivers of accelerating economic growth this year.

Today’s figures showed new dwelling consents in Auckland rose to 561 in March from 393 a year earlier, while new Christchurch permits to 342 from 126.

The value of non-residential building consents rose 13 percent to $4.4 billion in the year ended March while the value for residential buildings gained 32 percent to $6.9 billion. The value of all building consents rose 23 percent to $13.1 billion.

Source:

  • NZ Herald
  • Photo: Paul Estcourt

Mainzeal Update

Mainzeal-receivership-construction2Mainzeal’s receiver, Price-Waterhouse Coopers, says the collapsed construction company could be put into liquidation.

A liquidator has wider powers than a receiver to ensure all creditors, not just preferred creditors, get a fair share of remaining assets.

Subcontractors, who are owed millions in retention payments by Mainzeal, are among the unsecured creditors.

One of the receivers, Colin McCloy, said it was likely the company would be wound up. ‘‘There’s every chance it will. ‘‘The company’s clearly insolvent. It doesn’t have a future. So I think liquidation’s inevitable.’’

Liquidators have greater powers to investigate the cause of a company’s demise and ensure payments are equalised among creditors. Its powers include clawing back payments from preferred creditors if necessary.

McCloy said any payment to the subcontractors ‘‘would probably come via liquidation’’.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Richina Pacific, Mainzeal’s ultimate owner, has communicated with its residual small shareholders via its website.

John Walker, who is based in the United States, said Richina had guaranteed certain obligations to Mainzeal Property and Construction and provided funding to support it.

Richina Pacific (RPL) was assessing its exposure to Mainzeal as a result of the receivership.

Walker said Mainzeal Property had been wholly owned by RPL until 2009, when shareholders approved it becoming a separate legal entity and had become shareholders in Mainzeal’s parent, Mainzeal Group, instead.

Richina Pacific – which was delisted from the NZX in 2009 and registered in Bermuda – also has property interests, tannery operations and an aquarium in China.

Walker revealed the board of directors for the Chinese businesses was Huo Jian Guo, Richard Yan – Mainzeal Group’s last remaining director – Tina Wang, Roger Wang and himself.

Mainzeal Group is owned by Richina (NZ) LP, and its directors are unknown, as are the directors of Richina Pacific’s owners, REH LP.

Source:

  • The Press
  • Catherine Harris
  • Fairfax NZ
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