200 Chinese workers will be flown to Auckland to help complete the $200 million Park Hyatt hotel located in the city’s Wynyard Quarter, which is projected to be finished in March 2019. Fu Wah developers from Beijing explained that the lack of skilled workers in construction would delay the project for months if no workers are provided.
Fu Wah is helping 200 Chinese workers complete their visa applications so that they can help complete the fit-out of the Park Hyatt hotel.
Fu Wah New Zealand general manager Richard Aitken began the visa applications to Immigration New Zealand earlier this year.
Despite advertising on job search sites, Fu Wah was not able to secure enough local decorators, tilers and painters for the project.
“We did not get nearly enough applicants. It is a little bit about getting the numbers of people, but it is also about getting a company that has the expertise and experience of fitting out an international five-star hotel,” Aitken said.
Fu Wah sourced the tradies from two Chinese companies whom they’ve worked with previously.
“We have a number of developments that we undertake in China, so we have a number of relationships in the construction industry and the people that we are talking to we have done business with before in China,” said Aitken.
The office of Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway confirmed that the minister was unaware of the visa applications for Park Hyatt’s construction.
He explained that the visa applications might have been requested in smaller sub groups. He would require a briefing from Immigration New Zealand.
“It was not necessarily immediate obvious that there was a significant issue here.”
Lees-Galloway was aware of skills shortages within the industry and is in favour of helping employers bring foreign workers into the country to help ease the demand.
According to Aitken, the Chinese workers would travel in groups.
“It is not an on-mass process. At its peak it will build up to 200 and then it will drop off again.”
The Chinese tradies will work alongisde 300 local workers who have already been following the project for four years.
Park Hyatt hotel was projected to be completed this year. However, the due date had been pushed back to next March or April.
Aitken exaplained that the delay was caused by weather and slow paced construction.
“It is again just a function of the current construction market in Auckland.”