Record num­ber of cranes op­er­at­ing

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CHRIS HUTCHING

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.

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