(Auckland, NZ) Former Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa has defended her period in charge of the portfolio.
Hon. Salesa, who is MP for Panmure-Ōtāhuhu, said relations between building companies were better because of the Construction Accord she introduced.
“When the Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand the building and construction sector was the first to release health and safety rules for carpenters, electricians, plumbers, master builders, engineers and architects to follow,” she said.
This was achieved quickly because the companies had been working with the relevant ministries for the previous two years.
The Accord now had more than 1000 industry partners.
RNZ reported that Salesa had been demoted from the ministry because she was thought to have not performed well and a high staff turnover in her office.
Salesa’s comments to Kaniva News follow recent attacks on her by lawyer Nalesoni Tupou.
“I understand there were questions about the changes in my roles,” Hon. Salesa told Kaniva News.
“Just as the Prime Minister said, we talked and we agreed for me to have new roles as Assistant Speaker and to work closely with the Pacific Parliaments.
“I have a new role as well in the Foreign Affairs and Trade select committee.”
Salesa also cited proposed amendments to the Building Act, which were announced in October last year.
She said the construction sector faced many long-standing issues, including inefficient practices, skills and labour shortages, low productivity and poor health and safety.
The changes were intended to improve building efficiency and quality.
Salesa said the Building for Climate Change Work Programme helped the industry identify actions it could take to support the Government’s climate change objectives.
The programme would help lower greenhouse gas emissions and ensure remained safe and healthy as the climate changed.