16 Nov 2021

Timber shortage hits fencing contractors with weeks-long delays

11:27 am on 16 November 2021

A shortage of timber means some fencing companies are having to order product months in advance.

Rain gauge on a fence post

(file photo) Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Shipping delays related to Covid-19 and an increased demand for new housing have tightened supply of timber this year.

Some have described the shortage of structural timber in New Zealand the worst in living memory.

Mike Renner, who runs Renner Fencing in Marlborough and sits on the board of Fencing Contractors NZ, said he had to order some materials three months in advance.

"We've got a eight-week hold-up on most timber.

"There's going to be a big shortage of 100x100 [fence posts] for residential fencing coming up, we've been notified.

"Our wire products, especially in big quantities, you have to order months in advance, as well as round posts.

"There's also a shortage and certain sizes as well."

Renner said he had to adjust to how he ran his business due to the supply shortages and has had to turn some jobs down.

They were having to tell clients that fencing contracters were pretty booked up and finding it hard to get materials.

"There's a few that expect us to be there within a month to do the job, and we're very much like builders, we've got to be booked," Renner said.

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