Chinese-owned developers plan an almost $11 billion pipeline of New Zealand projects in the next eight years, a new survey has found - and $2.1b of projects are already underway.
Frank Xu, president of the New Zealand Chinese Building Industry Association, said this was the finding of a survey of 26 Chinese-owned developers working in New Zealand in the past few years.
Work by Chinese-owned developers forecast in this country during the next eight years was $10.69b, he said.
The survey found $1.7b of projects by Chinese-owned developers had been completed here since 2010. The bulk or 84 per cent are residential, 90 per cent are in Auckland, 12 per cent are commercial and 4 per cent industrial.
"These companies have $2.1b of projects underway, a list that includes the Park Hyatt Hotel on Auckland's waterfront by Fu Wah International and the $300m 690-unit Sugartree Apartments in Auckland CBD," a statement on the survey said.
"In the next seven or eight years, 2565,000sq m of gross floor area is planned, equating to $10.6b of investment, again mainly in the residential sector," the statement said.
Xu said that was "exciting and marks a huge opportunity for Kiwi companies to develop a pipeline of work. It's no secret of the immense pressure on the construction sector in New Zealand at present to deliver new homes".
Property Council chief executive Leonie Freeman welcomed the level of investment in New Zealand.
"New Zealand, in particular Auckland, has a housing shortage, and we need a significant amount of new housing in our cities," Freeman said.
"This includes apartments, townhouses and stand-alone housing. We need a wide range of highly skilled people and organisations involved to help solve this. The Chinese development community, like everyone involved in the development process, is a key component in helping develop quality housing for New Zealanders," she said.
Xu said although activity was strong, he did not forecast an increased investment appetite by Chinese.
"I don't see the level of investment stepping up due to two factors: first, the New Zealand Government has tried to restrict overseas investments via the Overseas Investment Office and, second, the main impact has been from the Chinese government, trying to stop money going overseas. That's had a huge impact, bigger than the New Zealand Government," Xu said.
Asked how he thought Chinese developers were perceived, Xu said: "It's a perception, but not racist, of overseas buyers pushing up NZ house prices."
Yet Chinese working here were developing major hotel and apartment projects which were a significant contribution to this country, he said.
In January, Mayor Phil Goff announced a "crackdown" on filthy building sites, visiting streets in Flat Bush where developers, builders, tradespeople and real estate agents were prominent.
Xu said at the time he was particularly disappointed in Flat Bush.
"I know there are reputable builders there but many of the Flat Bush builders are equal to cowboys and now we're worried they're moving to South Auckland and Hobsonville. "The barriers to getting into the industry are so low and many of them are not professionals. They just don't know about compliance. They think it's okay. They come in here without knowing about health and safety either," Xu said then.
The National Construction Pipeline Report forecast a peak in total construction value of $42b in 2020. Activity is projected to remain at current elevated levels until the end of 2020, with growth expected from 2021 to over $41b in 2023.
The report is from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Statistics NZ said new dwelling consents for the year to April, 2019 rose 7.4 per cent to 34,392. The annual value of non-residential building work consented was $7.5b, up 11 per cent from the April 2018 year.
Big Auckland projects underway by Chinese-owned developers
•$300m Park Hyatt, Viaduct Basin
•690-unit Sugartree apartments, Nelson St
•57-level The Pacifica hotel/apartments, Commerce St
•57-level Seascape apartments, Customs St East