The building minister has been in crisis talks over the ongoing Gib crisis, with a “high level taskforce” being set up to try and address the shortage.
Megan Woods has sent an urgent letter to Fletcher Building, the company that controls most of the plasterboard market in New Zealand. Woods has asked the company to stop threatening legal action to other companies over the use of trademarked terms (including colours).
“The government is committed to supporting the building sector to deliver the homes and buildings that New Zealand needs. That’s why my top priority is to ensure builders, from big companies to single tradies have the materials they need to do their job with confidence,” said Woods.
The taskforce will look at alternative plasterboard products and examine whether legislative change or regulatory change is needed, said Woods. It will also look at new distribution models and act as a forum for related supply chain concerns.
“While Gib is well-known, it is not the only plasterboard available. The Building Code allows for the use of any product which meets performance specifications,” said Woods.
“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.”
A first meeting of the taskforce will take place next week.