Sunday, November 28

Auckland building materials are running out in New Zealand

Construction crews across the country have only a few days left of some Auckland-based products, according to suppliers, and some key materials are no longer available.

building material, plasterboard wheelbarrow, construction

Photo: 123RF

Last week, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) granted seven-day waivers to eight Auckland companies that offer ‘critical’ products for residential home construction, but only 99 workers are allowed to return to those sites overall.

Nine applications were rejected.

Today, the CEO of the Roofing Association, Graham Moor, told RNZ that the Auckland closure was being managed in a “very unproductive way”.

“I know of several products that are, if not today, almost out of stock. So we have certainly seen that with some of the insulation products, I know the base is critically short, as is [for] bras “.

The shortage affected government housing projects, private residential construction and commercial construction equally, he said.

“Some companies, despite being at level 2, have had to turn people away because they just can’t get the product. What a waste of opportunities.”

Auckland providers with exemptions provide a range of steel roofing, cavity insulation, gypsum board and gypsum paste.

But supply chain shortages amid a Delta lockdown is the perfect storm.

Before the outbreak, construction sites were already waiting months for materials due to shipping and trucking squeeze points and massive demand.

The share price has increased every few months.

Cavity insulation provider Expol received one of eight waivers last Friday, but only two staff members were able to return to the site.

Some trucks had to leave half full.

General manager Mark Mischefski said it was better than nothing, but it was “very inefficient.”

“You can’t build a house with three products, so even though we’ve come forward to include some of our other products that are critical to construction, after a conversation with MBIE on Friday, they still think it’s a long way off.”

Only the insulation was allowed out, but customers were also “crying out” for other materials, Mischefski said.

“Those clients can’t get the first part of the foundation for a residential home construction, so it basically stops them in their tracks. They may sound understanding, but ultimately, that will have a huge impact on their business.”

NZ Windows director Kevin Allum said this week that the business would be out of the pieces it needed from Auckland.

Orders for these pieces usually arrive two weeks in advance.

“We will not be able to supply windows and doors for domestic use in the next few days to the works.”

He agreed that safety was the priority, but believed that many more building materials companies could operate safely than had been approved.

“The first priority is to contain the virus, but I’ve been talking to the guys, trying to help them get their waiver requests, and they say it’s the most frustrating bureaucratic process they’ve ever been involved in their careers.”

Metro Glass was denied an exemption, but CEO Simon Mander said the company typically supplied an insulation business that did have an exemption.

“Their raw materials actually come from our waste stream, so if we are not producing, then there is a problem.”

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has received more than 180 expressions of interest from other producers of construction materials who want exemptions.

The ministers will evaluate them.

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