The building sector is expecting a rise in fortunes as the economy recovers and the Canterbury rebuild gets into full swing about 2016.
An infrastructure and buildings construction sentiment survey from consultants AECOM showed rising confidence in work but uncertainty about the infrastructure market.
About 400 responses came from contractors, consultants, architects, asset managers, owners and developers, financiers, lawyers and others for the six-monthly survey.
"Sentiment continues to strengthen in New Zealand's building market, while the infrastructure market is more cautious. In most parts of the industry, conditions have improved in 2013 and this helped build further confidence that ... recovery is likely to shift up a gear," the survey said.
Residential, commercial and social infrastructure sectors showed the best prospects. Canterbury will get the biggest influx of infrastructure spending and most respondents expect this will peak about 2016.
"The total value of the wider rebuild efforts jumped to $40 billion early in 2013," the survey said.
But people are worried about staff numbers, and 81 per cent of respondents said recruiting skilled professionals was a problem in Canterbury.
Prospects in the north have picked up. "The outlook for the North Island, particularly around Auckland, has also seen some improvement since late last year," the survey found after 53 per cent expected more investment in the next three years.
It found 73 per cent expected increased building sector activity over the next 12 months, a big improvement from 53 per cent six months ago, and 62 per cent expected more work in the residential sector.
See the full report here