GIB

PHOTO: The cost of building a home has skyrocketed and things are only set to get worse. Credits: Image – Getty Images

A social housing developer has fired Fletcher Building as its supplier of GIB plasterboard due to lengthy product delays.

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Simplicity Living, which is owned by the not-for-profit KiwiSaver provider Simplicity, said the ongoing issue had it forced to resort to importing an alternative product from Thailand to complete its build-to-rent developments.

Fletcher Building has a near monopoly on the plasterboard market and the chronic shortages, which have been blamed on unprecedented demand, have been well-publicised.

Some in the building sector have warned that the ongoing shortages could result in builders going broke because they could not finish residential projects.

Simplicity chief executive Sam Stubbs told RNZ there was cost of building crisis in New Zealand, but Fletcher Building’s hubris has made the situation worse.

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He said Fletchers have known for at least 12 to 18 months that there was going to be a supply squeeze, based on residential building consents.

“They’ve really done very little to actually manage what was clearly going to be a slow train-wreck.

“They had the ability, we think, to actually either make more product or bring in more product to satisfy demand.

“Instead, what they have done, is they have actually left a whole lot of smaller developers and builders hanging out to dry with total uncertainty about delivery times.”

Simplicity Living managing director Shane Brealey.
Simplicity Living managing director Shane Brealey. Photo credit: RNZ/Simplicity Living

Fletcher Building’s chief executive of its products division, Hamish McBeath, said it is a free market.

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