BUILDING THROUGH A PANDEMIC: How Covid-19 is affecting the construction industry in NZ

Oct 3, 2020 | News

From the outside, looking in, New Zealand is in a unique – and rivalled – position regarding getting “back to normal” post the initial Covid-19 outbreak. With a national housing shortage, low-interest rates and a country relatively free of Covid-19, the New Zealand construction industry seems set to build its way to a very bright future.

Earlier in the year, some delays were reported in the construction sector as the country moved through its intense lock-down period. Stats NZ reported that the completion dates of home building projects in the June 2020 quarter were reported to be delayed by nearly seven weeks on average.

“Homebuilders are expecting median delays of 33 working days as a result of COVID-19, following the alert level 4 lockdown that was in place until the last week of April and subsequent worksite restrictions. Non-residential projects, including commercial office buildings, shops, and hotels, are estimated to have completion dates set back by a median of 30 working days,” the Stats NZ website said.

New Zealand citizens were sent into lock-down and construction jobs went on hold. When the lock-down loosened, it inevitably took a while getting things moving again as overseas supply chains struggled to keep up. But now that the construction industry is back on its feet, there is plenty of work to go with and plenty of scope to capitalise on New Zealand’s unique position.

It would seem that building has not slowed down at all, with many builders booked up many months in advance and clients keen to ‘crack on’ with their building projects, whether they be residential or commercial.

Some reports have shown that costs may have increased slightly due to supply chain issues with materials coming from overseas, though that doesn’t appear to be putting people off.

Overall, New Zealand’s building industry appears to be in a strong position moving forward.