A call for greater industry collaboration

General News

Aug 20, 2018

Fletcher Construction’s General Manager of Infrastructure, Tommy Parker, says working more effectively together will be the key challenge for the industry over the next few years.

In an address to Infrastructure New Zealand’s Building Nations symposium the former New Zealand Transport Agency executive says contractors have been given a strong vision of what the industry will be tasked with delivering over the next decade and improved collaboration will be critical to ensure the best infrastructure outcomes for New Zealanders.  

These are exciting, and challenging times for the industry.  We will need to be well-prepared, agile and responsive. 

Tommy says to deliver change, of the scale that will be needed, requires collaboration and trust.
“My experience in delivering infrastructure is that the most effective projects are those where there is a strong client and contractor relationship, an equitable sharing of risk, and a project culture that is focussed on removing barriers and getting the job done.”

Tommy says New Zealand has capable customers and contractors and a proven ability to collaborate with international players where we don’t have specialist expertise locally.

“When the NZ Transport Agency was looking at the Waterview Tunnel project in Auckland, the fact is we had never built or operated a road tunnel of that scale.  By forming an alliance, with the right mix of local and international know-how the project was successfully delivered and now many people spend less time driving and more time doing what they need or want to do.”

We can mix the latest technology and best practices from overseas with local knowledge and expertise. Fletcher had the local knowledge and the Japanese (Obayashi Corp) provided the tunnelling smarts.  

Waterview isn’t the only major infrastructure development that Fletcher has partnered with international talent. Fletcher is also teamed up with Spanish company Acciona Infrastructure to build the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway project.

"We are learning a lot from Acciona, mainly around systems thinking. It's proving to be a good joint venture—the culture is great.” Says Tommy.

After four months heading the infrastructure business for Fletcher Tommy says he is really enjoying his new role but it has been a big learning curve. “Having been the client and now the contractor I can see there is a need for strong collaboration."

Good infrastructure is the pillar of a strong society, especially in the area of transport, and around the world countries are coming up with new innovative ways of funding, planning and building it.