The Builders Labourer

An important member of every building team was the builders labourer. In the past labourer was generally the unqualified unskilled workhorse that performed the hard physical labour necessary for building projects of the time. Labourers were generally treated poorly simply because they needed the work and there were plenty of strong men also in the same situation. Typically the builders labourers with picked on a daily basis from a pool of potential workers, and they would not know from one day to the next whether they had work and income.

Builders Wellington still working these types of conditions in many countries overseas, and more often than not they are abused, they are confined to low-cost substandard housing during the project, they are paid poorly and the work is often very dangerous. This is particularly so for high rise projects in Middle Eastern and other countries, were they building labourers a little more than slaves.

Fortunately in New Zealand our labour laws have made for a much better situation for the building labourer, who is typically a semi skilled fit and smart individual that is trying to get qualified as a fully fledged builder. Under New Zealand labour laws these workers, almost always young fit men, have to be well trained and all the site safety practices plus they need to be given all the safety equipment necessary to work on site.

Modern building sites and in particular high rise construction sites are exceedingly complex in the operation, and the building labourers need to be trained to deal in this complexity and to operate safely at all times. As a building labourer they  will gain valuable work experience and valuable references for future work, and in current the New Zealand building boom these labourers have little problem picking up new work once any project has finished.

The work the labourers do will definitely include the more menial tasks that labourers expect, but will also include tasks with a degree of skill and knowledge as required. These might include assisting with the erection of concrete formwork, assisting with the placement of reinforcing Steel, assisting with the erection of scaffolding and safety equipment and assisting with the safe movement of heavy materials around the site using heavy lifting equipment. At all times the building labourer will be under careful supervision buy a skilled Foreman on the site, and their finished work will be closely checked, but this will not prevent the labourer from operating efficiently and providing serious value to the project.

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The New Zealand Mortgage Broker Sector

The mortgage broking sector in New Zealand was so far different animal then in 2010 when the government begin the process of regulating the sector. The new years preceding 2010, particularly in the latter half of the property boom that ended in 2008, the mortgage broking sector was a bit like the wild west. There was a property been going on, there were literally thousands of small time Mum and Dad investors wanting to get me a piece of the action in terms of rental properties and developments, and there was a large amount of money floating around ready to be loaned out to investors.

The mum and dad investors were in general naive and greedy, and many if not most of them we’re getting their information from property investment seminars and so called investment Gurus. These investment seminars and Gurus were fertile ground for Property Brokers with property to sell and for mortgage brokers with mortgages to lend. A lot of the amateur investors we’re getting involved in property development, and some of the banks were sensibly wary about this. Second and third tier lenders came to the party, obviously seeking higher interest rates than the banks would because the investments were riskier. There were a lot of mortgage brokers around this time who were heavily promoting these lenders and doing everything they could to persuade investors to invest. The world financial crash at the end of 2008 pretty much took care of all of that, and a lot of investors were bankrupted and worse, and a lot of mortgage brokers were left with very difficult questions to answer from the lenders that they had set up for huge financial losses.

The government regulations in 2012 pretty much put a stop to the whole process, by forcing mortgage brokers to become qualified including passing very difficult financial examinations, and forcing them to have a recognised complaints process and the organisation and to be part of a recognised dispute resolution process. The immediate effect of this was to confront or mortgage brokers with the possibility that they could be sued and worse by their clients and by their lenders if they were going to have been incompetent or corrupt in the way they carried out their business. Coupled with the difficulty of studying for and passing the new examinations, many mortgage brokers just simply decided it was too difficult and risky to stay in the business.

The end result is that in 2017 virtually all of the cowboy mortgage brokers have left the Industry, and the sector is now largely very competent and operating an unethical and customer focused manner.

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