Coronavirus: Construction workers rush to finish new builds as lockdown looms

The rush is on for the building industry to get concrete laid and roofs on before Wednesday night's lockdown deadline.

With tools down, half-built homes face being exposed to the elements for the next four weeks or more as the country enters total lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It's all hands on deck at one building site on the outskirts of Christchurch, where Nathan Pomare's three-man crew have been going since 4am. They're onto their fourth concrete floor pour of the morning.

"Pretty much everything that's ready to go and inspected, we're pretty much going to pour what we can," said Pomare, owner of KNJ Concrete. 

Another new house in Rolleston got a roof on just after dawn - and Horizon Roofing owner Jayton Manuel says there are more to come.

"[We've] still got one more to do tomorrow. Everyone wants everything done, but we can only do so much," he told Newshub. 

Builders are trying to do all they can before the lockdown - weather-proofing construction sites before they're forced to put down their tools.

During the lockdown, the only building and construction workers allowed to operate are those working on critical infrastructure or homes that pose a threat to health and safety.

New builds will be exposed to the elements for a minimum of four weeks.

Justin McDonald's crew have got one more roof to get on tomorrow.

"Obviously timber can't be out in the weather - if it's out there for a long time, it'll swell, move and do all sorts of things like that," the Que Homes director told Newshub.

The concern now is the security of building sites during the lockdown.

"In the past, even during the building process, we've been broken into and gear's been taken," said McDonald.

"Now it's a case of taking as much home to yards [as possible]."

Precautionary measures on the home front as the country enters the most extraordinary of times.