We're not being ripped off by the building industry - expert

Morning Talk 25/06/2018
Photo credit: File.

Construction of new buildings in New Zealand costs too much, according to a building and construction expert.

But it’s not because we’re being ripped off by the industry.

Robyn Phipps, Professor in Construction at Massey University says New Zealand is a unique place to build, especially in the wake of the Christchurch quakes.

“If you are trying to build a house in Christchurch at the moment, there are many parts of it where you’ll spend over a hundred thousand dollars just on the foundations before you even start to see any utility from the building.”

Speaking with RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury, Professor Phipps says our geography and weather conditions also play a part in the cost of building.

“We also have high wind zones we’ve got to build to, we have a high corrosive zone because we’re a long skinny island in the middle of the Pacific, and we’ve got this big hole in the ozone layer, so we’ve got UV levels which are much higher than are found in other parts of the world.

“So we have to build our buildings to cope with this harsh environment we live in.”

Professor Phipps says our construction costs are also higher in comparison to our neighbours in Sydney, because of economies of scale.

“We’ve got the population of Sydney, but spread over the area of England.

“So if you’re trying to build in Sydney, you might have much better scales of economy. One plant that can be producing a component is going to be able to feed the bigger part of the population, where here, we would have to have a number of factories or manufacturers who are going to have to do the same thing. So we have much more investment required.”

Listen to the full interview with Robyn Phipps above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.