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Government establishes taskforce to investigate ways of increasing plasterboard supplies

Property / news
Government establishes taskforce to investigate ways of increasing plasterboard supplies
Interior of house under construction

The Government is establishing a ministerial taskforce to try and alleviate the shortage of plasterboard in the construction industry.

Currently around 95% of the plasterboard used in New Zealand is the GIB brand manufactured by Winstone Wallboards, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building.

However the company has not been able to keep up with demand from builders, resulting in shortages of wallboard.

Building and Construction Minister Megan Woods says one of the main goals of the taskforce will be to investigate whether there needs to be changes to regulations that govern the use of plasterboard products.

"While GIB is well known, it is not the only plasterboard available," Woods said.

"The Building Code allows for the use of any product which meets performance specifications.

"The taskforce has a very clear aim, to increase sector productivity as quickly as possible and to remove any unnecessary barriers, including around certification, to facilitate the use of different types of plasterboard."

The taskforce will also explore potential new distribution models for the product, provide advice on the appropriate response to consenting and act as a forum for related supply chain concerns.

The members of the taskforce will be:

  • Rick Herd, Chief Executive of construction company Naylor Love.
  • Dave Kelly, Chief Executive of Registered Master Builders Association of NZ.
  • Shane Brealey, Managing Director of residential property developer Simplicity Living.
  • Stephen Tindall, chair of The Tindall Foundation.
  • A representative of Local Government NZ.
  • Tex Edwards, founder of telco 2degrees.

However National's spokesperson on building and construction, Andrew Bayly, said the taskforce will do nothing to immediately address the plasterboard shortage.

Bayly said he intends to try and introduce a private member's bill would allow builders to use imported plasterboard as long as it complied with what he described as "Australasian standards," and would require councils to accept plasterboard products other than GIB.

Woods said she will convene the first meeting of the taskforce next week.

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37 Comments

Lol classic - another task force, another waste of time & waste of money... these guys should have solutions already.

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30

I await the ignoring of the taskforces findings with baited breath.

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16

baited breath.

Sorry LC. That's 'bated breath'. 

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Yes, there was something fishy about LC's term...

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Yep by time the have finished writing the report up, the building industry will be on it's knees with 7% plus interest rates, and the new factory will be operational by then. But 1.5 million later we have a nice report that will be ignored.

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15

Interesting comment.  I wonder if the whole task force thing is just a means to slow the process down so that Fletchers have time to get their factory operational, rather than to stop their continued restrictive trading.

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By the time anything useful is determined the world will have moved on. By the time anything is implemented and takes any meaningful affect the problem will have remained unresolved  and irreparable damage done. But this gives the government ability to as usual claim they are working on the work of it all. Once the task force reports that nothing immediately conclusive can be achieved then the government can absolve themselves by claiming that it is not their fault that you can’t conclude a problem that is inconclusive. Oh to be in Wellington where the consultants fly and thrive.

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14

The RBNZ is already onto it.  7%

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Problem solved, rest easy people once again the govt are going to fix the problem.......hang on?

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I'd rather have a taskforce on finding us some GPs, nurses, specialists, psychiatrists, teachers etc.

But if they can fix the GIB stoppage, then good on them.

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24

There are daily cries from the DHB staff on the system being on the verge of collapse but, as usual, the Health Minister continues to downplay these concerns as an overreaction and instead argues that his coveted health reforms is the magic bullet to solve all systemic problems.

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11

The Canterbury DHB are accused of booting out nurses & doctors who've not had the covid booster shot .... even if they've complied & had the first two regular vaccinations ...

... Minister of Health , Little Andy , says thats their decision .... not for him to get involved !

 

 

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4

The board of Health New Zealand and senior leadership of Ministry Health are responsible for that. Including that Bloomfield chap who's been at the helm for a while.

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2

In a country with an aging population healthcare will be a bottomless, bottomless money pit. New Zealand already provides a similar level of funding to Australia, UK, Canada etc. as % GDP. Let's not go down the road of burying younger taxpayers.

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0

Sure, waiting lists for older folk for hip and knee replacements.

For kids, it's trying to get in front of a psychiatrist.

 

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Another reason for the next generation to leave nz... paying higher taxes to fund the healthcare of the retirees who screwed their economy.

I am not sure there will be many reasons for them to hang around after Uni anymore. 

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I would like to see our politicians get in front of a psychiatrist

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But our spend is wasted on inefficient structures that is about to get a whole lot worse with Labour’s next attempt to fix!

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Another report about planning to do something ho hum . They need to force councils to accept any gib that satisfies Australia standards and while they are at it do the same with all building materials.  Next disband the building standards authority BRANZ I think it is they are nothing but a hindrance and add cost to our already ridiculous pricing of housing. 

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It’s interesting. Our house built 1982 went A over tip in the 2011 EQs. The gib cracked, split  & busted but it did its job in that resilience was sufficient, the outcome wasn’t life threatening. Prior to that had never realised that the gib itself was considered a major bracing element. Learnt a bit more about that during the rebuild. It is a complex and careful calculation for obvious good reason. 

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Branz and Fletchers would have us all believe that we will all die if Gib is not used. It is as much to do with the fixing as the sheet itself. It also has a lot to do with the protection of the monopoly.

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7

Bang on Sluggy! I used Elephant board on a big reno back in the mid 90's and it is a far superior product to GIB, It was new to the market then and Fletchers were using every  trick in the book to try and drive Elephant board out of the market. As I said, in my experience  it is a far superior product.

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No expert at all but when we tried to introduce a pretty small window, that is it would have sat neatly inside the framing, it all escalated into the realms of impossibility. Another time consuming application to the council for said variation supported by engineers report. Not saying that was unnecessary but from the burden of bureaucracy that we encountered throughout cannot imagine that getting every local body from north to south on board to comply with different specs and compositions, and first legislate for same in terms of the building code, would not take more than a year at the least. Hence my first comment as above shuffle all the paper you like and say what you want but if the brown cardigan brigade is in opposition, then all such effort in terms of an effective alteration to the status quo, comes entirely to nowt.

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There is braceline Gib , a different product from ordinary Gib. 

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Why not just say if the plans specify GIB. Then it is automatically interchangeable with any other manufacturers plasterboard of the same specification/size  that complies with the standard AS/NZS 2588.  No consultation with certifiers or payment of fees required. This would cover the Australian and Thai brands. As long as the person paying for the building agrees with the change its all good. 

But by early next year. Fletchers will probably be considering mothballing their Christchurch plant when construction slowdown has kicked in.

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So another committee.  can we not use the 100,000 home building committee? 

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That is probably exactly what is going to happen.

Government doesn't move quickly, though.

Commerce commission inquiry into building products 1st draft is due out next month. Government evidently decided they needed to move on this gib issue sooner.

I've said from the very beginning, they should have done the investigation into building products first, not the petrol one. And then they should have done it into building products next, not the housing one.

Better late than never - which it would have been if National was in charge. All of the issues in the petrol, grocery and building product markets existed under National with John Key. They did nothing.

Again, better late, under this government, than never - which is what you get with National.

Don't vote National.

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It should be a 5-minute meeting between them all and the recommendation would allow anyone to do exactly what Shane Brealey did and import plasterboard along as it has a recognized international certification.

What's the bet that the 'Terms of Reference the Govt. give them knee cap any recommendation and timeframe they can give.

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Building and Construction Minister Megan Woods...

How the hell is Megan a Minister of anything? I have rarely seen a better candidate for a reshuffle back to obscurity.

Either way Winston (GIB) was investigated in 2014 and was absolved of anticompetitive practices, opening another would constitute harassment in my view.

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4

Good at lunch?

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... you'd have to be quick at the buffet table ... she looks like she could shift it quick ..

 

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And some cups!

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Woods is full of the same weasel words as Ardern! Remember soon after Winnie put them in power Woods with her usual huff & puff spouted off about how she was going to sort out all the issues with the ChCh stadium and "get it built"!  Five years on -  still haven't turned a sod! Just another Labour flake!

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8

Got a laugh out of that.

You may wish to check the dates and match to ministers.

May even go further and see when Branz was give the power. Branz have been 100% successful........at looking after nationals mates. Only aided and abetted by a slow moving foggy glass wearing labour.

We get what we collectively vote for.

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Boral Australia has plenty.. 👍

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Imagine the shortage if the Govt had got anywhere near building a 100k homes.

Disaster avoided by not acting on a promise.

It's a win win for the  Govt.

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Fletchers have been carrying out restrictive trading.  They have been clever about it, by getting the term "GIB" onto every Council consent application form.  The term "GIB" needs to be just one of the many plasterboards that a builder/architect can chose from rather than having to acquire a 'verification' for using anything other than GIB.

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