COVID-19 Alert Level Update and message from CE David Kelly

13 September 2021

The Government has today announced that Alert levels will remain the same until 11:59pm until Tuesday 21 September. Cabinet will meet on Monday to review all alert levels for New Zealand and continue from then to meet weekly to consider the Alert Levels. The Prime Minister also announced that Cabinet has made an “in principle” decision that on Tuesday 21 September Auckland will move to Alert Level 3.

Although not unexpected it is still disappointing that Auckland remains under tough lockdown restrictions. For all our Auckland members we are thinking of you as you continue to do the hard yards in quelling this outbreak on behalf of us all.  Kia kaha Auckland. 

Below is some updated relevant lockdown information, and a message from CEO David Kelly on the material supply issues occurring across the country. 

Workers crossing Alert Level Boundaries
From 11:59pm on Thursday 16 September all workers who need to cross Alert Level boundaries to work at permitted business must get a COVID-19 test, whether they have symptoms or not. Workers who are permitted to cross an Alert Level 4 boundary will be required to show evidence that they have had a test in the previous seven days. Police will begin checking compliance from 17 September.

Employers of essential workers who need to cross regional boundaries for work must now have a process in place to enable these employees to be tested for COVID-19. This includes enabling their workers to undergo testing, medical examination, or both during their working hours.

This will involve the Police spot checking and turning people around who do not have evidence of a test. Proof of test will be in addition to permission to travel documentation (the Business Travel Document, work order or employer letter) that all workers must carry to travel in and out of Auckland. There is no cost for essential workers to get a test for this purpose. Nasal swab testing is available at community testing sites around Auckland or at GP practices. Go to the Healthpoint website for testing locations in your area. These workers will not be required to stand down or stay at home while awaiting their result, as this additional testing is to provide assurance travel in and out of boundaries is being  done safely.

See the information and forms available on the Ministry of Health website:

CHASNZ Protocols
CHASNZ has now updated all its protocols, which can be found here.

Important General Information
The financial support for businesses will continue with the wage subsidy and the resurgence payment opening up for another two weeks from this Friday, 17 September. For more information see here. 

For any further questions relating to the building and construction sector please email

Click here for the guidelines for working at Alert Levels 3 and 4 that we included in our last update.

Please continue to check the locations of interest and ensure you follow the isolation and testing requirements if they relate to you or your household members. Confirmed locations of interest can be found here

Please also continue to get tested if you have any symptoms at all. Testing is strongly encouraged across the country. 

The government continues to strongly encourage anyone over 12 years of age to get vaccinated now. There is no need to wait for a booking you may have in the future, you are able to find a slot now.  You can book your vaccine by clicking here or you can attend a drive through or walk in vaccination centre without a booking.

There are currently seven suburbs that are the focus of testing. If you do reside in Mt Eden, Massey, Mangere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Otara and Manurewa and have any symptoms please get a test. 

Click here to find out general information regarding this outbreak.

Message from RMBA CEO, David Kelly on Material Supply Issues 
We are aware that many members are facing the challenges of material supply constraints, both in procuring the products you need for your work and in managing the frustrations from clients on delay and pricing issues that are outside your control.

There is no doubt that New Zealand is currently experiencing significant supply chain issues that are resulting in price increases and delays. These have been occurring for some time but have  sharpened considerably since COVID-19, particularly this year. 

While we absolutely support the current lockdown and encourage our members to continue to adhere to the protocols we do recognise that these are also causing further pressure on the system. Almost all of New Zealand’s internal manufacturing and distribution is based in Auckland, which is currently in Level 4. This is making the current shortages even more acute. It is pleasing that the Government recently announced that some building product manufacturers located in Auckland will be classified as essential services and allowed to operate. This will help to prevent a nationwide freeze on construction but will not alleviate all the pressures being felt.

The RMBA team continues to advocate on these issues. This includes publicly communicating that New Zealand is experiencing global disruption, creating unpredictable and rising material costs and delays that are outside the control of our members, which in turn is making it very difficult to determine exactly how much a build will cost. The cost of some products have increased two or three times in the year already, and no one can predict this. 

Material and labour supply shortages are also causing delays to builds and we know that you are also dealing with the challenges of time extensions due to the delay of Covid and the lockdowns. Hazelton Law have provided a guidance note on RBC1 contracts if this is helpful. This can be accessed by clicking here.

As members the key is to communicate and be up front and honest with your clients. Provide realistic timelines and cost structures and talk openly about the risk – then together you can manage this. If clients are also clear about their budgets, the builder can provide options that will fit within those and work together to get the best possible job within the budget available.