Category: Blog


The Builder Supply Crisis in New Zealand

New Zealand has a housing crisis that can only be cured by building thousands more new homes. Unfortunately New Zealand has a major shortage of qualified builders and other trades people, and this lol seriously delay the building of the new homes and what happened very least make them a lot more expensive then otherwise would be the case.

This shortage of skilled labour is a direct result of government and business policies over the years that simply failed to predict the shortage. The problem in New Zealand is that starting an apprenticeship in any sort of building trade is not seem to be nearly as glamorous or as potentially lucrative is studying for a degree and working and some sort of profession. Young men are not encouraged to join an apprenticeship and even worse, this option barely registers for young women.

This focus on producing a highly skilled and professional workforce it ignores the fact that trades people also need to be deeply skilled, and that tradespeople can also have a very satisfying and lucrative career. The problem is that while government and business recognise that our country’s infrastructure across all sectors needs massive investment, this investment also must be matched by a skilled trade workforce to actually do the work on the ground. In particular modern building and construction techniques for all trades require working with Hi Tech equipment in an extremely efficient and proficient way. This applies to all trades including builders, plumbers, electricians, heating and ventilating, painting and decorating, drainage and the list goes on.

As a consequence infrastructure companies have had to import skilled labour at considerable expense, which drives up the cost. In some areas such as telecommunications, there is such worldwide competition for skilled labour that infrastructure companies had had to employ skilled labour from countries without the service culture of New Zealand. The impact of this is a serious decline in service quality for telecommunications customers using phone lines for example.



Unfortunately for New Zealand these skilled labour shortage can not be fixed quickly, as it requires a significant change of culture throughout the system starting as early as Middle School. Young people coming through High School need to understand there are perfectly satisfying and lucrative career is available for them in the trades, and even better, they can start an apprenticeship and get paid a decent wage while studying for this career and gaining qualifications. And even better still, they will come out the other end with a very good salary, very good long term job prospects and zero University debts. They are the best builders Hamilton has to offer. Some studies show that highly paid professional University graduates can take 15 to 20 years minimum to even catch up financially to their counterparts who started out as apprentices after leaving school.


Autonomous Driving Developments

Autonomous driving technologies are about to have a massive impact on the way we humans travel and live our lives.

The Google self-driving car

Governments have known for years that something like 95% of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error, and the downstream cost of these accidents in terms of human misery and in financial impact is absolutely immense. Autonomous vehicles will eliminate virtually all human error accidents, and hence governments are keen to see these technologies develop as soon as possible because of the huge positive Impact on their citizens (and on government finances).

Up until recently it was not obvious to all but the most visionary few how autonomous vehicles would be introduced to be buying public who are very accustomed to driving their own vehicles. What has emerged is a concept building on very popular vehicle hailing Technologies like Uber, coupled with autonomous driving and coupled with electric vehicles, in other words electric “robo taxis”.

The Tesla Roadster

Citizens in most large Western cities have enthusiastically embraced services like Uber where they can hail low-cost rides from their smartphone. Autonomous taxis will eliminate the cost of the driver plus will reduce the accident rate by 80% to 90%, which will make the cost per kilometre probably 20% to 50% of the current cost of a Uber ride. Electric vehicles have only around 20 moving parts compared to around 2000 moving parts in an internal combustion engine, and as a result have massively less maintenance costs in the lifetime between 4 and 6 times as long.

The end result is that electric robo taxi services will enable citizens to travel initially around cities and ultimately anywhere rural for around one tenth of a cost of a Uber ride and for only 10 to 20% of the cost of owning a vehicle.

These services are coming to a city near you in one two three years, and as soon as citizens know when the services are coming they will stop buying vehicles. The impact on the world’s vehicle manufacturers will be dire, as well the impact on the world fossil fuel industry.

Ironically the First robo taxi service to market in any city will be able to charge price is way higher than cost and will make supernormal profits, at least until competitors manage to get their act together and get a competitive service going.