Building product manufacturers are gutted at the limit of 100 staff being allowed to restart in Auckland's lockdown despite a national materials shortage putting home builders in limbo.
Businesses will find out this morning if they have approval from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
"At the moment MBIE is only able to authorise a total of 100 workers for three specified products," a ministry spokesperson said, referring to roofing steel, plasterboard, gypsum plaster and insulation.
MBIE said it had received 17 applications to restart from 14 companies that produce those materials.
Manufacturers of other products in short supply were able to request their products be included.
One manufacturer that applied to resume production with 70 staff said the cap of 100 workers across all businesses was ridiculous.
Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Brett O'Riley said it was disappointing given there had been weeks of discussion about getting some manufacturing up and running.
"It's disappointing. It represents just a fraction of the number of people we need to be working to allow the rest of New Zealand to operate at alert level 2."
He said many more products than those shortlisted by MBIE were in short supply.
"We think there could be at least 100 companies that could be applying for this and that's the reality of the supply chain in New Zealand and the reality of what's required to get the building industry back on its feet so this is very disappointing."
MBIE said the businesses or services that were authorised to restart would only receive authorisation for seven days.
If Auckland is still under alert level 4 next week, the ministry said it would reconsider the authorisations issued to ensure the system was working effectively and fairly.