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Gifting Knowledge and Experience...

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

The Library Give Back Project has delivered its first donation of historic costing and pricing texts to Otago Polytechnic International Campus in Auckland on Thursday 24 June 2021.

The Library Give Back Project idea followed the retirement of David Buckle as a quantity surveyor at the age of 80 a couple of years ago. My former Contract Admin and Law & Costing and Pricing Tutor at Carrington Polytechnic was cleaning house and offered me the return of all the New Zealand Building Economists he had purchased since 1993. I accepted this gift that came with a large, almost complete, collection of hard copy Rawlinson’s NZ Construction Handbooks and a series of Auckland Master Builders Price lists from the 1980’s that contain materials supply price lists and Union Award Trade Labour Wages and Work Allowance Rates. “The David Buckle Collection”.

David Buckle at his interview for “The David L Buckle story so Far”

Presenting “The David Buckle Collection”

Otago Polytechnic senior Lecturer Nilmini Thilakarathna, started a LinkedIn conversation, and issued an Invitation to speak with Students when OPIC receives the first donation of historic costing and pricing texts. The campus at 350 Queen Street is an business like environment in a modern office building opposite Aotea Square. The atmosphere is warm, relaxed and inviting. Casting your eye around the library open space, catching the eye of a stranger also catches a friendly smile. Whatever these people are doing here, they are enjoying themselves, it must be worthwhile.

Matthew Ensoll presenting OPIC Student Xiaobei Lu (Grace) with her own copy of the New Zealand Building Economist to thank her for volunteering to assist with the Library Give Back Project presentation at Otago Polytechnic International Campus. Photo by OPIC Student Valeria Kuznetsova.

Centre Stage and I get to share some wisdom and knowledge with a very international mix of students. I start with acknowledgement of David Buckle’s contribution to the industry and his gift of historic texts with four students holding up copies of each of the texts and me explaining the background of each text and its content.

Followed by some industry insights about four big issues our industry faces every day, that we need to make improvements on.

ISSUE ONE. A highly inefficient entitlements process underpinned by bad argument habits borne out of ignorance and commercial defiance.

ISSUE TWO. The lack of a common measurement of scope to accompany plans and specifications when procuring project resources.

ISSUE THREE. The inefficiency caused by poor scope documentation.

ISSUE FOUR. The greed formula underpinning retentions abuse, industries efforts with the CCA to mitigate the negative impacts, and the unappreciated, little understood correlation between the use of retention regimes and our delivery of LOW quality work outputs. These humour backed, energy infused words, were intended to inspire and motivate students to work hard towards preparing to face the real opportunities that await their great talents outside of the classroom.

Otago Polytechnic International Campus Students & Lecturers.

Giving Back Is Appreciated

Walking off the stage, winding down, talking with tutors and one student with their CV in hand was followed by reflection later that evening that the time, energy and effort was worthwhile. The smiles and laughter of appreciation said it all to me that the Library Give Back Project is worthy of more time and effort to capture and deliver copies of historic costing and pricing texts to the other Tertiary Institutions around New Zealand.


We are looking for hard copy costing and pricing texts. Please message me if you can assist. Thank you.

“Celebrating 50 years of New Zealand Building Economist 1972 to 2021”

By Matthew Ensoll

Life Member NZIQS. Reg.QS.

Editor New Zealand Building Economist.



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