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New Zealand cement and concrete industries deem “pro-wood” policy “inappropriate”

World Cement,

According to the New Zealand cement and concrete industries, the “pro-wood” government procurement strategy will create an inappropriate commercial advantage for one construction sector over another.

The policy, which was recently announced by David Cunliffe at the ForestWood Conference in Wellington, would mandate that “all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept/request-for-proposals stage (with indicative sketches and price estimates).”

Rob Gaimster, CEO of the Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ), believes that policies that appear to be giving preferential treatment to one construction material are misguided.

“It is inappropriate to mandate that those designing new government buildings consider wood as a structural option, and then require an explanation if an alternative material is chosen,” said Gaimster. “Government should not be picking winners when it comes to the selection of construction materials, which should stand or fall on their own technical, cost, aesthetic and sustainability credentials.”

“In addition, the policy does a huge disservice to the hardworking men and women in the cement and concrete industries. Favouring a single construction material during the design phase of a new government building could seriously impact on their livelihoods and jobs,” he added. “This policy does not create a level playing field for the use of construction materials in government buildings. In fact, materials other than wood will be considerably disadvantaged. We are concerned about the wide-reaching implications of this policy and believe it should in no circumstances be adopted.”

Adapted from CCANZ press release by

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