It's been a year of gains - PrefabNZ Board Chair Leah Singer

It's been a busy year. Since I last wrote for PrefabNZ, I have successfully led the appointment of our new CEO, relocated to Australia, circumnavigated Ireland on a small yacht and perhaps most unexpected of all, I’ve had a response from the New Zealand Treasury on my 2018 research ‘Creating Value Through Procurement’ - now known as ‘the entwine report’.

This is great for public sector procurement because the government paid attention. They commissioned their own report into my findings, and have since made their own (aligned) recommendations regarding the use of NZS Conditions of Contract.

Let’s hope this translates into meaningful change. The quality of a procurement process has arguably the single greatest influence on the quality of the outcomes sought by the client. For the public sector in particular, these should relate to the quality and performance of the asset over the long term, including its ability to fulfill the purpose for which it was commissioned. If you experience the converse, then questions need asking.

As for my ongoing work streams, people continue to ask me - what do you actually do?

Answer - I do anything that contributes towards continuous improvement in the construction space. I have zero interest in job titles and elevator pitches, choosing instead to apply my transferable skillset to wherever it can make a positive difference. I consult, I collaborate and I critique. I define problems and I lead solutions.

One of my current endeavors is re-engaging with a passion project I’ve tinkered with for years - a website designed for sharing stories to share learnings - and hopefully some laughs too. What’s the outcome I’m seeking? To provide a safe space to complain about the idiocy we find in our industry; lay bare the reality to the key decision makers; and potentially reduce a few stress levels along the way through a good old fashioned rant... Suffice to say I have a good defamation lawyer. If intrigued, please feel free to check out and/or flick me an email – note the site is currently ‘under construction’.

And then sometimes I spend time doing other things – like deciding to sail around Ireland on a small yacht. Because if the industry’s overall aim is to add value to society then it’s imperative that we stay connected with it. In this high pressure and all consuming (cannibalistic?) sector it is all too easy to lose sight of this – to forget that buildings are a means to an end, not a means to themselves.

So I wish you all a very merry Christmas rich in company, health and inspiration. We cannot offer value to others if we do not first value our families, our friends and ourselves. Our successes are never ours alone.

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