Maintaining a viable sector during Covid-19's immediate impacts
Find out about the Accord’s work during the immediate impacts of COVID-19.
Government and industry's partnership supported the sector to weather the immediate, acute impacts of COVID-19 and the associated limitations on work. The Accord recognised that longer-term plans for sector transformation would be worthless if there was no sector to transform after COVID-19 – so the Accord reprioritised work to focus on maintaining a viable sector in the immediate term.
Establishing the Accord Forum to provide a single, unified voice to government
- Immediately after lockdown began, the Accord Steering Group established the Accord Forum (the Forum) to bring together a broader group of government agencies, major commercial, vertical and residential construction companies, local government, industry and professional bodies and unions to inform recovery. The Forum was a platform for industry and government to collaborate, resulting in a credible and unified voice that represented the whole industry.
- The construction sector is broad and often fragmented, having the Forum enabled a coordinated and connected voice across the ecosystem. This helped inform the understanding and impact of COVID-19 and advice on options for recovery.
- The Forum lived the principle of he waka eke noa – we are all in this together – and agreed that if all parties act in a fair and reasonable manner and are prepared to share the responsibility, then the sector as a whole can emerge intact from lockdown and be in the best position to restart.
I would be bold enough to say the sector would not have been allowed back on sites at Alert Level 3, if not for the important work the Accord and Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) did around health and safety standards. This was really critical for the livelihood of our industry and our people.
Chelydra Percy, BRANZ Chief Executive and Accord Transformation Delivery Group member.
Restarting construction activity centred on people returning to work safely
- The Accord worked with Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) to develop health and safety protocols for those in the residential, vertical and horizontal construction sectors undertaking work in Alert Level 2 and 3 settings.
- These protocols were regularly updated with government guidance. They supported the sector to return to work safely after lockdown, minimising the economic impact of COVID- 19.
Guidance for contract variations arising from lockdown
- The Accord developed and issued guidelines on a consistent government position for contractors facing additional costs created by the lockdown, and for establishing the fair value of these variations. The guidance provided confidence and support for fair payments to contractors during the lockdown, and avoided costly and time-consuming contract negotiations.
- The principles and guidance applied to all government contracts but were equally valid in – and in some cases used by – the private sector. This reflects the potential for government to influence behaviours across industry through the Accord partnership.
Informed development of government COVID-19 support
- Accord members worked together to inform Ministers’ decision-making on COVID-19 supports for business, including the Wage Subsidy Scheme, Business Finance Guarantee Scheme and Small Business Cashflow Scheme.
- The Accord provided government with real-time feedback from industry experts that helped target and tailor COVID-19 support to business needs.