Building product manufacturers

PHOTO: Building sites are being mothballed due to a shortage of materials. (File photo). Photo: 123RF

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will today spell out how some Auckland factories can restart under level 4.

It will select essential building product manufacturers to prevent a freeze on housing construction during a nationwide shortage of building materials.

Builder Dave van de Geest has six homes under construction in north Canterbury, and even before the Delta outbreak had taken to ordering cladding months in advance of breaking ground due to shipping delays.

“Now it’s even worse. We have one job where it’s a two storey place and we ordered the product up to four months ago and it looks like it’s not going to get into the country now till maybe October which is a problem because you have a lot of expenses with scaffolding and keeping a project moving.”

And now other materials made here, such as Pink Batts insulation, have run out.

“If you don’t have insulation you can’t put on your interior wall linings and so the project stops, so it is important. With, say, Pink Batts, everyone’s looking for alternative products they can use,” van de Geest said.

House builders

House builders deterred from offering fixed prices

“If you imagine everyone runs over to another product and that runs out pretty quickly as well.”

Auckland is the manufacturing hub for many building materials but the assembly lines were forced to stop during the lockdown.

To address the shortage, the government will allow the four most critical products to be produced in the city – plasterboard, gypsum plaster, coated roofing steel and insulation.

MBIE said manufacturers will need a high degree of evidence to support their request to resume production.


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“This may include evidence of how the building products are a critical component of residential construction, evidence of there being limited building product supply in New Zealand, and evidence of health and safety measures in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission.”

It said the work will need to be undertaken with the minimum number of staff safely required and under alert level 4 rules, and it will release more information today.

The supplies co-operative for builders and tradies, CBS Co-op, has 600 members on its books across the country.