Timber shortage hits fencing contractors with delays of several weeks


A shortage of lumber is forcing some fencing companies to order products months in advance.

(archive photo)
Photo: RNZ / Sally Round

Shipping delays linked to Covid-19 and increased demand for new housing have squeezed the supply of wood this year.

Some have described New Zealand’s lumber shortage as 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 materials three months in advance.

“We are eight weeks behind on most lumber.

“There is going to be a big shortage of 100×100 [fence posts] for upcoming residential fencing we have been notified.

“Our wire products, especially in large quantities, you have to order months in advance, as well as the round posts.

“There is also a shortage and some sizes too.”

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

They had to tell clients that the fencing contractors were quite comprehensive and had difficulty obtaining materials.

“There are a few who expect us to be here in a month to get the job done, and we’re really like builders, we have to be reserved,” Renner said.


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