Market Intelligence
Design and Construction New Zealand Trade Promotion

New Zealand Building and Construction


Extreme weather events aren’t unusual for New Zealand but the number of 2023 weather events causing damage to both public and private buildings as well as road infrastructure is unprecedented and significantly impacting the building industry.  Bad weather over the first six months of 2023 has displaced more than 10,000 New Zealanders in various parts of the country.  In its May 2023 budget, the New Zealand Government committed approximately $41 billion for public infrastructure spending over the next five years, (i.e. money for building schools, hospitals, public housing, roads, etc.) The Government has also set aside US$3 billion for a National Resilience Plan with an initial focus on future-proofing roads, rail and other infrastructure wiped out by extreme weather.  

All building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code.  Contributing to annual modifications in the Building Code, is New Zealand’s “Building for Climate Change program” which aims to reduce building-related emissions and improve thermal performance is contributing. Trends in the industry reflect a requirement to follow sustainable building practices, including the use of sustainable materials and designing for energy efficiency.  

In 2021, New Zealand’s imports of building and construction were valued at approximately US$3 billion which on average accounted for approximately 7-8% of all imports.  Chinese building and construction imports dominate the market, followed by Australia. (The United States is ranked #4.)   In 2021, New Zealand imported approximately US$220 million worth of building and construction products from the United States.   Source:  “Trends in the Importation of Building & Construction Products”, MBIE, July 2022.

Market Entry

  • Goods must comply under the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act.
  • Most imports can enter the market tariff-free. Information on tariff rates is available on the New Zealand Customs website.
  • All goods imported into New Zealand are liable for a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). 
  • There are no import licensing requirements.
  • New Zealand’s system of measurement is metric.
  • In May 2023, the approximate average currency exchange rate was NZ$1.00: US$63 U.S. cents.

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