Immigration Rebalance welcomed by Construction Accord

Opening immigration doors only part of workforce shortage solution – more diversity, better productivity, greater innovation needed.

The Construction Sector Accord welcomes the Immigration Rebalance announced 11 May 2022.

"The sector has been getting hammered by COVID and workforce shortages and supply chain issues. This opening of the borders to construction talent won't take away those problems but it is really good news for the sector," said Accord Transformation Director Dean Kimpton.

"The Accord is facilitating industry discussion over a sector agreement for construction and we look forward to seeing that signed and sealed. The sector agreement and the Rebalance will make it easier to get and hang on to good people."

The Accord will work with the Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga and MBIE to support consultation on the sector agreement.

"We are now back into global competition for talent but opening the doors is only part of the solution to workforce shortages. We need to hire from a more diverse talent pool, we need to raise productivity, we need to innovate, we need to grow the Māori construction sector. These are the long-term goals of the Accord and we need the whole sector to get behind them to transform our sector and get ahead of these workforce issues," said Mr Kimpton.


The Construction Sector Accord is a joint commitment from government and industry to work together to create a high performing construction sector for a better New Zealand.

Over the longer term, the Accord aims to increase productivity, raise capability, and improve resilience, through:

  • The Construction Sector Accord Skills Strategy, which will provide a strategic vision for current and future skills needs in the construction sector.
  • The Accord Diversity Roadmap, which will be released in mid-2022 and will stress the untapped and transformational potential of a diverse workforce in addressing the skills shortage.
  • Accord support for the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) which will have a stronger focus on employers and delivering the skills they need.

Specific Accord skills initiatives

Nearly 600 skilled construction workers were approved to enter New Zealand under the Construction Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) Group Allocation, managed by the Construction Sector Accord. The allocation was for up to 60 places per month in MIQ between May 2021 and March 2022.

The Accord has supported the Infrastructure Skills Centre Pilot initiatives(external link) in Canterbury, Manawatū and Wellington, offering six weeks of training in key infrastructure skills.

Accord achievements

  • The Accord has brought better leadership and focus to a fragmented sector with 150+ industry bodies. Leadership has been especially evident in the COVID-19 response, with the Accord Forum rapidly convened to co-ordinate sector response.
  • The Accord has become the 'go to' channel for industry-government communication, with sector leaders able to communicate directly with Ministers.
  • There are 30 milestones under the current Accord Transformation Plan, of which 28 will have been completed when the Plan formally ends on 30 June 2022. The two outstanding milestones will continue under the new Accord Transformation Plan 2022-2025.
  • The Accord's procurement work is addressing fundamental industry problems of risk allocation, including through fairer, more transparent contracts, and providing assurance of prompt payment and strengthening the retentions scheme.
  • Accord funding has allowed MATES in Construction to expand its suicide prevention work.
  • Accord funding has allowed Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) to create protocols for working on construction sites and to develop the Tōtika Health and Safety Pre-qualification Scheme.
Last updated: 11 May 2022