Ngā mahi hanganga | Building and construction

Please also refer to the 2022 RWP, specifically the section on Building and construction:

Ngā mahi hanganga | Building and construction

Currently around 10% of our workforce are employed in building and construction [6] and almost 20% of our region’s Māori men work in construction [7]. A large proportion of the workforce is self-employed. There is strong demand for workers due to residential and commercial construction and large infrastructure projects, including:

  • Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment
  • Te Tātoru o Wairau - Blenheim Schools Rebuild
  • Summerset retirement village.

A strong building and construction sector is a key part of Marlborough’s growth and development however availability and affordability of housing is a key barrier to regional growth.  A well-resourced construction industry will support efforts to address this.

Waihanga Ara Rau WDC’s Workforce Information Platform shows there is a significant shortfall in building, construction, and infrastructure trades across the sector. This tool identifies regional gaps in the construction and infrastructure workforce at a level of granularity not currently available for any of our other focus sectors.

Workforce Information Platform(external link)  — WIP

According to Waihanga Ara Rau’s Workforce Information Platform, the forecast workforce demand for construction and infrastructure in Marlborough is expected to peak at around 5,000 FTEs in the quarter to March 2024. They estimate our current workforce to be around 1,800 FTE, leaving a gap of around 3,200 FTE.

Workforce supply and demand

Source: All clusters and occupations, Marlborough region Exported 29 May 2023 — WIP

Our recommendations for Building and Construction education and training in Marlborough

  • Increase investment in learners and make a wider range of training options available in Marlborough.
  • Invest in block courses in our region for carpentry, mechanical engineering, and automotive engineering apprentices in work-based learning. Currently learners must travel to Nelson or Tasman for block courses.
  • Support stronger connections between building, construction, and infrastructure trades with all schools. For example, Queen Charlotte College in partnership with Kāinga Ora has established a construction academy.
  • Invest in training for supervisors, team leaders, and managers to develop leadership capabilities and competencies tailored to the specific needs of the sector. There are few qualifications currently available and the low uptake, despite sector demand, suggests the existing training is not meeting the sector’s needs.


[6] Infometrics Regional Economic Profile, Filled Jobs by ANZSIC 1-digit Industries 2022, accessed May 2023

[7] Stats NZ Census 2018

Last updated: 20 June 2023