Builders forced to walk off jobs due to supply shortage

They're busier than ever, but builders are struggling with a continued shortage in construction supplies.

Without the materials they need, some are having to down tools and wait. 

The industry warns this can't go on long-term and is urging the Government to act. 

Builder Josh Stewart is working while he waits for his tiles - and a wait that used to be just two weeks is now much longer. 

"We're seeing empty shelves for certain products, some of the products we're waiting six to eight weeks on," Stewart told Newshub.

He's been seeing it for over a year - as a building supply shortage caused by shipping and manufacturing delays worsens.

Stewart says it's "stressful" but he's dealing with it. 

For him, that means ordering material in advance, but for others, delays are forcing them to put their tools down altogether.

Nick Farrelly from Edgecity Builders told Newshub they've had to walk away.

"We have to stop jobs and walk off sites and leave them as they are until we can get these materials." 

That loss in productivity has cost Farrelly's business tens of thousands of dollars in the last year.

"You're gonna see a lot of builders, especially the young ones just starting, really struggle and possibly fold."

It all comes at a time when builders are busier than ever - building consents are at record highs not seen since the 70s - and certified builders want the government to step in. 

Poto Williams, the Minister responsible, wouldn't go on camera but in a statement, reiterated that she's asked for advice on supply chain issues..and that the Government is committed to supporting the sector. 

But her office wouldn't provide a timeline. 

Farrelly says he wants to see it "straight away".