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Construction Sector Accord and Callaghan Innovation team up

open this image in new window: MBIE Chief Executive Carolyn Tremain and Master Builders CE David Kelly celebrate sealing the deal

This article was published on 16 August 2023

The Construction Sector Accord and Callaghan Innovation have agreed to partner to accelerate growth and innovation across construction businesses of every size and stage.

The new partnership seeks to address systemic challenges and build resilience across the construction sector. As part of the agreement Callaghan Innovation will deliver several Accord initiatives through a new programme: Construction Activator.

The Construction Activator will bring together and build on existing business services supported by MBIE and Callaghan Innovation, such as the Regional Business Partner Network, Digital Boost and Business Mentors NZ, and offer an expanded, end-to-end business capability development programme targeted at construction businesses.

The Construction Activator will help to build collaborative construction business communities that drive connections, innovation, and business growth, as well as equipping business leaders with the skills and tools they need to improve business performance. The programme will be relevant for businesses at all stages, whether they are looking to accelerate their growth today, or make incremental improvements over time. 

Making up seven per cent of our national GDP and employing 10 per cent of the national workforce, the construction sector is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy. The sector has been identified by the Government as one of eight industries with the potential to contribute to a future, high-productivity, high-wage, low-emissions economy.

MBIE Chief Executive Carolyn Tremain and Master Builders CE David Kelly celebrate sealing the deal with Callaghan Innovation CE Stefan Korn
MBIE Chief Executive Carolyn Tremain and Master Builders CE David Kelly celebrate sealing the deal with Callaghan Innovation CE Stefan Korn


"We won't see the real transformational shifts that the Construction Sector Accord is trying to achieve unless construction businesses are able to scale up,” says Accord Steering Group Co-Chair, Andrew Crisp.

“Through this partnership with Callaghan Innovation, we will create a central hub where businesses can access tools and resources, learn from each other, and get support to innovate and grow. The opportunity to unlock the productivity challenges facing the sector is massive.”

Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive Stefan Korn says he is delighted to support the construction industry to overcome these challenges and position itself for future success.

“It’s hard for business leaders to think about long-term growth when forces beyond their control mean they need to focus solely on the day-to-day, and even business survival.

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with business leaders, researchers and industry organisations to help construction businesses overcome these big challenges, while also taking advantage of the opportunities innovation offers to support industry transformation.”

Stefan Korn says the soon to be developed Construction Activator programme will be central to Callaghan Innovation’s approach to driving transformation across the construction sector.

“We want to make the biggest impact we can and make it easy for industry to work with us, and our partners, who are so vital to achieving our shared goals for the construction sector. 

The Construction Activator programme will be a one-stop-shop for construction businesses looking to grow faster so they can reach their full potential. Over time the programme will also be pivotal to enabling an enduring, system-wide construction sector transformation.

“The challenges are significant but so are the opportunities. We look forward to the journey, together,” says Stefan Korn.

The partnership will get into action soon with live, in-person Connect Events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from mid September. 

About the Construction Sector Accord

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 Aotearoa New Zealand. The Accord works closely with industry partners and government agencies whose work intersects with or relates to the Accord's vision and goals. This ensures that we leverage existing work and do not duplicate or undermine others' efforts. Find out more.