Twyford threatens manufacturing future

NZ Steel, concrete businesses and successful local firms like Steel Rite Framing in Tuakau will be hit hard by Phil Twyford’s latest proposal.


The King of Kiwibuild plans to change government procurement rules so government agencies planning new buildings will have to use products with the lowest upfront carbon emissions. This policy will disadvantage steel and concrete manufacturers, and put thousands of jobs at risk.

Requiring agencies to use building products to use the lowest upfront carbon emissions in the construction of new buildings implies that only wood products will be used.

While we agree that we need to reduce emissions, we also need to be able to produce good quality buildings at a competitive price.

This will do a disservice to companies like NZ Steel, who produce high quality product which is made locally.

Concrete has been used as a construction material for centuries. One of its key benefits is that concrete walls contain no organic material, so they don’t support the growth of mould and mildew. For larger buildings, structured concrete is a far stronger material and much easier to use.

We need to be focussing on the cost of building and maintaining that building over its life. Unfortunately, too often the cheapest initial cost is the key driver. Mr Twyford’s announcement only reinforces Labour’s short-term approach.

During a recession like this, we need a Government that recognises the wider benefits of locally manufactured resilient products. Only a National Government will be able to retain our manufacturing sector and keep people in jobs.”