NZ firms 'have expertise' for rebuild

2:29 pm on 9 August 2013

There is concern within the construction industry that local companies may miss out if Christchurch is swamped by overseas firms keen to join the rebuild.

Some delegates at the New Zealand Contractors Federation meeting in Queenstown say they are concerned by the recent joint venture between Arrow International and China State Construction.

The head of Fletcher Construction's engineering division, Dave Jewell, says there is plenty of skill and expertise within New Zealand and it's debatable whether joint ventures with big overseas companies are needed.

"Sometimes there is opportunity for a joint venture with an international partner that brings the new technology or the capability that doesn't exist but in my experience that's only occasional in New Zealand."

Mr Jewell says the New Zealand contracting industry's wide range of skills and capability is sometimes undervalued.

Contracto Dave Connell says some are fearful overseas companies will take away work that can benefit local firms, and a balance needs to be struck.

The federation says to date 95% of the work in Christchurch has been handled by local companies and they've been more than capable of doing it.