Govt considering importing own plasterboard supply

The Government is considering importing its own supply of plasterboard to help the construction industry cope with the GIB crisis.

The plasterboard taskforce met for the first time last week to discuss ways to bring more plasterboard in to the country and help the construction industry out of the crisis.

It comes as a survey by Kāinga Ora showed more than half of housing developments it surveyed are delayed or disrupted due to supply chain problems.

Nine-eight per cent of the 120 private and public developments surveyed said they were impacted by building material shortages.

Project manager David Wang is one of those. He said it’s been a frustrating ride but he’s finally managed to import a small amount of alternative to GIB to help his clients.

He said the Government should be looking to import plasterboard alternatives itself, because it’s tough for small businesses.

National’s building spokesman Andrew Bayly agrees.

“I am absolutely staggered at the lack of impatience, we've got an industry that is absolutely burning," he said.

Kāinga Ora projects have also been delayed, some by weeks, because of the shortages.

Bayly says if the Government imported plasterboard and used it in its large scale projects across the country, the current supply could then be used by small builders.

A spokeswoman for Housing Minister Megan Woods says importing products is an option on the table, but the details still need to be worked through. The taskforce is expected to meet in a couple of weeks.