Announcements | Business

April Update from David Thomas

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Kia ora

It has been an interesting time for the building sector over the past couple of years and the next 6 to 12 months will be no different.  In some cases, we are seeing a drop-off in demand, while others, like the commercial sector and those rebuilding from the devastating impacts of the Auckland Anniversary floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, may experience the opposite. 

This will no doubt impact on our product mix, so we are closely monitoring where things are heading to allow us to make adjustments and ensure we get the right balance.  As mentioned last month, it is great to have re-established strong stock levels across all GIB® plasterboard types, including GIB Barrierline® and GIB Weatherline®, and have these readily available again for customers.

Great progress is also being made in Tauranga on our new manufacturing and distribution facility as we prepare for the commissioning of GIB® plasterboard production due to begin in the second half of May.

Currently we are in a set-up and testing phase, which will ensure what comes off the production line meets our high standards.  During this time, we will run both our Auckland manufacturing facility and Tauranga in tandem, to ensure a smooth transition for the North Island, with the Christchurch manufacturing facility continuing to service the South Island.

While much of the anticipation surrounds the new plant build, it is equally exciting for those who will become part of the new team.  We have a good mix of long-standing employees making the move there, as well as new employees who are all eager to be part of the new venture.  The plant will be one of Australasia’s largest plasterboard manufacturing and distribution facilities, and until you see it up close, it’s hard to understand its scale.  At around 67,000 square metres of buildings, it is equivalent to more than seven rugby fields, with the full site being roughly double that at 128,000 square metres.

As indicated above, we continue to live in interesting times and are very much excited by the challenges and opportunities they will bring.

Nga mihi nui

David Thomas

General Manager

Winstone Wallboards