Despite some of Auckland's building supply manufacturers being allowed to operate during level 4, vital building supplies are still in hot demand throughout the country.
Now with Auckland in level 3, more suppliers are allowed back to work and the rest of the country will be hoping that building materials held up in Auckland warehouses, can at last start shipping south.
But Whanganui builder Jamie O'Leary is not holding his breath.
"The majority of stuff produced, if not all of it initially, will go to the Auckland market so we are going to see a bit of a slowdown and dry up then as well."
Whanganui's booming building industry pre-lockdown meant the supply chain was already under strain, but disruptions brought on by Covid-19 are also taking their toll.
O'Leary says increased costs are a given but the unpredictable nature of the price rises means fixed-price contracts for home builders are a thing of the past, because contractors are unable to absorb price rises, let alone predict them.
"I struggle to see how they're justified," he said. "There's just so much activity. People are so busy and it's become the norm, some timber products have risen three times this calendar year and it's not uncommon."
While the shortages have led to holdups they are also leading to some innovations. The O'Learys have introduced new systems to contend with product issues, particularly roofing and exterior claddings. If one product is not available then the customer will have pre-chosen alternative options.
"Part of the initial consultation process, and we've just kicked this in now, we would like some alternatives, like you'll have choice 1 or 2 or 3. We are basically covering things that way so we won't have to re-process."
The O'Learys hope that such fallback options, as part of the initial consent, would also help avoid inspection hold-ups.
"There is no reason that couldn't be done," Whanganui District Council head of assessments, Bill Leslie said. "But you would have to have three lots of comprehensive information, and whether that would be more cost-effective, it's debatable.
"The cost might not be much different but the convenience might be more."
The industry and council are always looking at ways to streamline the complex consent process, but there is a shortage of skilled and experienced building inspectors, the council losing them to industry.
"We put a lot of documentation into a building consent because at the end of the day council is issuing a code compliance certificate so it becomes quite a comprehensive file. And hopefully you never need it, but when you do, it's the thing that saves everybody," Leslie said.
O'Leary says the loss of a vast range of building products available to consumers may be a blessing in disguise.
"The absence of choice clears the mind marvellously," he said. "I think Henry Ford also quoted 'you can have any colour as long as it's black'. That's probably where we are going to get to. The incredible amount of choice we have now will become more and more limited."
While limited supplies are one thing, just getting to the building stage requires plenty of patience, with wait times in Whanganui up to a year and once engaged, build times varying.
"Depending on the size and complexity of the project, it could take anything from probably 20 to 30 weeks to build, and a much bigger house upwards of a year."
Homes with smaller footprints could also be a response to the supply chain log jam. It's a trend recently seen in the main centres by O'Leary's son, Anthony.
"With land typically in short supply, higher density is the way to go for cities," he said. "Terrace housing with a smaller footprint but going higher, all attached but ticking all the other boxes for access and egress and private outdoor space."
Whanganui has its own unique source of apartments with the many large old buildings being converted into inner-city loft conversions.