The construction industry is in crisis, experts warn, and the region's largest building company says there could be massive job losses and economic impacts if they don't get back to work soon.
According to the government, building will play a big part in the country's recovery from Covid-19.
Rotorua would benefit from this as the city scrambled to fill the need for state homes.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment had heard concerns from industry - but what working under level 3 meant in practice was still the subject of Government decisions. Under the current lockdown residential builders cannot work.
Kāinga Ora, which had 31 state homes under construction or in the pipeline in Rotorua before the lockdown, said it was focused on getting its work programmes up to speed as soon as possible in line with the alert level.
Mayor Steve Chadwick has also endorsed the need to continue with the region's Housing Plan as part of Rotorua's post-Covid 19 economic recovery plan.
Mike Greer Commercial Ltd chief executive Tim Blake said the company was part of Kāinga Ora's state home building project and employed five full time staff and more than 100 sub-contractors in Rotorua.
He said it was fortunate to have a strong portfolio of Government-backed build contracts and was putting procedures in place to work under a level 3 alert if that got the green light.
Registered Master Builders Rotorua president Bill Clement said the impacts of Covid-19 would be felt across the board in all industries.
''Everything just came to us at once. And I have noticed there are a few houses around that haven't got their roofs on at the moment and those builders will be keen to get stuck in.''
Clement said it was important everyone followed the rules.
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''I think the Prime Minister is doing an awesome job.
''I think we have just got to try and toe the line... I feel for a lot of builders as it has been pretty hard but I am quite optimistic myself.''
However, Peter Cooney, director of Classic Builders, the largest construction company in the Bay, told NZME: "There is no money coming in and it's a double whammy because you still have all your overheads".
he fallout would be much worse than the Global Financial Crisis.
"There will be companies who will have four or five weeks with no sales so that will also affect your cash flow in four or five months."
Then there were the sub-trades with no income coming in, he said.
"In the GFC we got a black eye but this time we will have two black eyes and two fat lips, that is the reality of it."
Cooney said if the sector did not get up and running soon there would be "massive job losses'' in the Bay of Plenty.
"There are so many jobs at stake here ... If we can get back to a level 3, companies like ourselves, that have been around for a long time and have health and safety staff, are confident bubbles can be created on individual sites."
Infrastructure NZ chief executive Paul Blair said its survey revealed nationally that up to a third of the construction jobs were at risk within the next three to six months.
"It's because it's an industry that relies on constant cash flow."
Blair said the industry was relatively light on equity and already had a few ongoing issues including the standard building contract which would not have foreseen Covid-19.
"So it's a matter of what does the contract say? And how do we get money if we're not able to work? And if we're not able to get money, then how can we keep our staff?
"That's the compounding issues tipping right across the construction sector and putting it in jeopardy."
On the flipside, in Rotorua to date the government has spent $10.2 million and built 36 new state homes with another 31 on the cards.
Kāinga Ora construction and Innovation deputy chief executive Patrick Dougherty said it was focused on getting its construction work programmes up to speed as soon as possible following the lifting of relevant alert levels and guidance from the relevant government agencies.
Correspondence had been sent to all its construction partners at all levels on Monday that included people working with them in Rotorua, he said.
''We are taking stock of the work under way, and in the pipeline, and will continue issuing tenders.''
A Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment spokeswoman said supporting businesses and the workforce to safely return back to work was a priority.
The Construction Sector Accord released its Construction Sector Response Plan on April 5 and it was divided into three response phases to maintain, restart and transform the industry, she said.
''The Accord is also working with government agencies and industry to better understand the business impact and needs during shutdown. Recently released guidance by the Accord and ministers are directing agencies to follow new guidelines that will ensure cash keeps flowing in the sector to maintain businesses and jobs during the shutdown.''
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the council has endorsed the need to continue with its Housing Plan as part of Rotorua's post-Covid 19 economic recovery plan.
She told the Rotorua Daily Post last week there was a very real need for housing as soon as recovery got under way.
Rotorua National MP Todd McClay said in a press statement the Government must be more agile when it comes to allowing businesses to keep operating during the lockdown if they can prove they could do so safely.
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* MATES in Construction is a mental health charity specifically designed for people working in the building and construction industry.
* The service support all workers and subcontractors at our building sites.
* People can connect with MATES in Construction, including a 24 hour support line (0800 111 315), or by free texting 5353.
* The charity has also created a free, online 'Lunchtime' Room to support workers throughout the lockdown. People can find out more at https://mates.net.nz/. - Source Kāinga Ora