Fletcher Building has apologized after a video of a Fletcher Living construction site was shared on social media with piles of Gib panels stacked outside, in violation of its own policy.
The video appears to show Fletcher Building subsidiary Winstone Wallboards giving Fletcher Living preferential treatment, allowing it to stock Gib panels.
Fletcher Building last month asked builders in Aotearoa not to order Gib plasterboard until their site was ready for installation, to ensure orders could be fulfilled when needed amid national shortage of building materials.
However, video from Fletcher Living’s own Greenstead development in Lincoln, south-west of Christchurch, shows piles of plastic-wrapped plasterboard stacked outside several houses that don’t even have a roof yet.
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A spokesperson for Fletcher described this as a “mistake”.
The video was shot on Monday last week by a Cantabrian builder who asked Things not to be named for fear of “spillover” into a small industry.
The builder said the exposed storage was a ‘piss plug’.
“Construction companies are going left, right and center because they can’t get materials, but here Fletcher has Gib sitting on the front lawn.”
Fletcher Living is also a subsidiary of Fletcher Building.
The builder was unsuccessfully searching for a dozen plasterboards for a small job himself when piles of plasterboard behind unlocked doors caught his eye, he said.
“I tried to find some for months, but now I’m looking for another supplier,” he said.
On Tuesday, Fletcher Building issued a statement, which was later described by a spokesperson as an apology, calling the unused Gib piles the result of “mistake and miscommunication”.
“It was a mistake and we appreciate it shouldn’t have happened, especially given the current supply constraints,” they said.
“We have strongly reiterated the correct process to our team and Winstone Wallboards has made it clear that they require us to confirm our sites are ready for plasterboard installation prior to any future deliveries.”
Do you have any evidence of Gib storage? Contact [email protected]
A spokesperson for Fletcher Residential said the job site had suffered delays due to the same shortage of workers and materials that the rest of the industry had struggled with.
However, the delays were not communicated to the Gib manufacturer Winstone Wallboards as they should have been, and so the Gib was delivered anyway.
They said Fletcher Living placed the order with Winstone Wallboards in early 2022 and awaited supply at many sites.
Winstone Wallboards’ Auckland Gib factory worked around the clock to keep up with demand, and the company produced enough panels to supply 1,000 homes each week, the company said.