“There is a simple fix to the gib crisis,” says New Conservative Housing Spokesperson, Bruce Welsh.

“As an architect, every week I get calls from builders asking if an alternative plasterboard can be purchased and used on their project.  Also from potential importers asking if they can import a board from some other country.  Most often I have to say, ‘No’.”

Gib board is used for bracing, fire protection and acoustic separation in the New Zealand Building Code as well as general wall linings.  Most overseas manufactured plasterboard does not have certification to show that they meet these specific requirements.

The simple solution is to quickly appoint a person or body to review plasterboard manufactured overseas and assess their testing data for equivalence with New Zealand requirements.  This body would then issue a Product Technical Statement that Councils would accept, stating where each plasterboard can be used.  This gives certainty to builders using alternatives and importers wanting to import them.

“We don’t need a task force.  We need quick and direct action, not another expensive endless talk fest.  The Building Act already has a system in place that can be used.  Let’s get construction moving again,” says Mr Welsh.

New Conservative can also see this approach being applied to other building materials to give a wider supply option for builders.

Bruce Welsh
Housing Spokesperson, New Conservative