The Frame & Truss Manufacturers Association’s 2018 conference ran over two days and was well attended with over 150 members and suppliers.
Representatives from Australia’s FTMA were also in attendance to learn and to share issues that are common to both countries.
The aim of the conference was to update members on current changes and trends in the manufacturing supply arena, as well as discuss housing demand trends and other key areas that impact members.
Key suppliers to the industry had displays of new products and innovations that could be viewed throughout the conference.
With proceedings formally open by Andrew Bayly, MP for Hunua, Day 1 was focused on understanding the key drivers of the building industry, starting with an overview of the economy by Rodney Dickens (above) covering housing starts, the impact of KiwiBuild and changes to interest rates.
This was followed by presentations by Red Stag on timber supply to the industry, including changing trends in products such as cross laminated timber.
The first day was wrapped up with a presentation and discussion by Warwick Quinn from BCITO on labour supply and training in the building industry.
The FTMA works closely with the BCITO to train staff both in factory and technical roles that are in short supply throughout New Zealand.
Day 2 was all about providing information to members to assist them in running their businesses.
Topics included Health & Safety, maintenance programmes, legal requirements, the productivity of key personnel and an example of growing a business successfully.
The conference was wrapped up by Sir John Kirwan (above) continuing his valuable work in dealing with mental health issues.
The New Zealand building industry has a very high level of suicides and frame & truss is no different, with constant pressure to work to tight timeframes.
Overall the conference was well received and feedback from attendees is that they would like a similar conference to be held every two years to keep members up to date with their industry.