A major building supply company in Wellington has resorted to spot-checks of building sites to ensure builders are not hoarding GIB® plasterboard.
The nationwide shortage of the product has been exacerbated by panic-buying, which has forced many construction projects to come to a sudden halt.
In an email to customers this week, PlaceMakers Kaiwharawhara manager Paul Boden said since the August 2021 lockdown, orders had been more than double their normal volumes.
"While it is possible some of this demand is not real it has unfortunately meant that lead times have blown out significantly."
Orders for direct to site deliveries were being checked to ensure they were "genuinely ready for their plasterboard", he said.
If the sites were not ready - or the delivery was to a container or warehouse - some orders were being cancelled.
"It is possible to move your delivery date if your site is not ready, so please contact your local rep or branch if you are in this position to help us ensure GIB® is going where it is needed most urgently."
Fletcher Building subsidiary Winstone Wallboards, which supplies 95 percent of plasterboard in New Zealand, has put a hold on new orders from distributors while it works on a new "allocation model" to take effect in July.
PlaceMakers said there were shortages of other several products, including frames, steel, fibre cement products, insulation and structural flooring and prices would be going up this month.
Freight and raw material costs were the main drivers for the price increases from suppliers, driven by increased demand, both in New Zealand and overseas.
"We're also seeing quote validity periods shortening down to as little as seven days. For this reason we're unable to guarantee fixed pricing beyond the expiry of the estimate you have been given."