NZ’s largest construction corporation sheds 1500 workers

NZ’s largest construction corporation sheds 1500 workers

This crisis goes far deeper than anyone is willing to admit. 

The government has created $50,000,000,000 out of thin air; 

our tourist industry has been decimated; God knows how 

many small businesses have disappeared and I can’t think of 

the last time when the leader of John Key’s “rockstar economy”,

Fonterra was so much as mentioned in the media.

Yet no one is talking honestly about this.

Coronavirus: 1500 jobs to go 

at Fletcher Building

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More Fletcher Building job cuts could be on the cards and the business would not 

be applying for the second round of the government wage subsidy funding 

because it did not qualify, chief executive Ross Taylor says.

The country’s biggest construction company has told the NZX it plans to get rid of 

1500 jobs across New Zealand and Australia.

Taylor called it was a “sombre day”. He said Fletcher Building was not interested 

in financial support from the Government.

“It is really important for New Zealand to have strong independent companies and 

it’s not sustainable for all the companies in New Zealand to be dependent on 

government subsidies for the long term. It just doesn’t work. It is important we are 

independent and on our own two feet.”

Fletcher Building has proposed to cull 1000 jobs in New Zealand and 500 in 

Australia, which equates to about 10 per cent of its workforce

Taylor said “no part of the business would be immune to the cuts”.

The impact of the Covid-19 restrictions over the past two months was “significant”, 

he said, especially in New Zealand as a result of the level 4 lockdown.

Our New Zealand businesses were closed throughout Level 4, except for small 

parts of the distribution and construction divisions which were asked to provide 

essential services. We shut down over 400 operating sites at the end of March,” 

Taylor said.

Fletcher had suffered a roughly $55 million loss in April in New Zealand and an 

approximately broke even in Australia.


Taylor said if the situation worsened more jobs could be lost.

He said work on Auckland Airport’s domestic jet terminal and the SkyCity 

International Convention Centre (NZICC) would be affected.

The NZICC project, that burned for three days last year, was given a new 

completion date of January 2, 2025 earlier this month, but Taylor said there may 

be further delays.

Taylor did not give specifics on which other projects would be impacted.

“We’re impacted on our pipe-line projects.”

He said social distancing restrictions under level 2 had impacted productivity at its 

Commercial Bay building project.

“Before [level 4 lockdown] we could have about 1800 people now its more like 

800 now.

“You just cannot get as many people as your staff implement social distancing. 

On bigger projects people are generally working on big broad areas so less of 

an issue.”

Fletcher Building received $67.68m for 9694 workers from the government wage 

subsidy scheme.

Through the lockdown, it implemented a 12-week pay plan, where staff who were 

not working, or working part-time would receive 65 per cent of their salaries for 

two weeks until April 22. Then salaries would drop 50 per cent for the next 

month, and by 70 per cent the following month.

Fletcher’s proposal would have seen senior staff including chief executive Ross T

aylor take a 15 per cent cut, but that was increased to a 30 per cent cut after staff 

said they were bearing the brunt of the financial impacts of Covid-19.

We are beginning consultation with some of our people and unions this week,” 

Taylor said.

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