Record number of cranes operating
A record 132 cranes are operating in main centres around New Zealand, according to the latest Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane Index.
The construction boom is most evident in residential and commercial jobs in Auckland, although Christchurch’s central city also remains one of the busiest commercial construction sites.
The activity is driven by strong economic growth, high immigration, tourism, solid house building, manufacturing and consumer spending, RLB’s Auckland director Chris Haines said.
Nationally, construction work put in place grew by 20 per cent or nearly $3.4 billion over the past year to reach $20b.
It was the fifth year of continuous construction growth since 2011, Haines said.
Auckland dominates the crane stakes with 72 cranes, or just over half of all cranes observed across seven centres.
Auckland’s residential building involves the use of 43 cranes, an increase of five, after nine were removed and 15 erected for new residential and aged care projects.
Sky City’s International Conven- tion Centre is one of Auckland’s largest construction sites with four tower cranes.
The Fletcher project is expected to create 1000 jobs during the construction phase and includes an adjacent laneway, expansion of underground car parking facilities and a new 300-room, 5-star hotel, due for completion in 2019.
Haines said the heated market meant there were resource issues and an increase in pricing.
Combined with banks tightening up on some commercial and residential lending, there is an increased likelihood of some planned projects being delayed, deferred or shelved, Haines said.
Cranes have been installed at two Manson’s commercial developments at 96 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell, Sale St and 1 Broadway in Newmarket, and two cranes at Precinct Properties’ $681 million Commercial Bay project.
Four new cranes are at the new Sky City hotel, and the Park Hyatt at the Wynyard Quarter site.
With 25 cranes erected across its central city skyline, Christchurch remains the second busiest construction city in New Zealand. The education and civil sectors have seen a recent reduction in crane activity.