Labour Weekend onwards has always been a busy time for people working in the building and trades industries on the Coromandel, but this year is proving to be busier than most.
Tradies that Coromandel District Council spoke to confirmed they are working around-the-clock to meet post Covid-19 demand as residents and holiday home owners are investing in their properties, with Christmas deadlines fast approaching.
A plasterer in Kuaotunu says he turned away seven jobs last week as he was already fully booked.
Electricians and plumbers the council spoke to confirm there has been a surge in demand since April, and many have had to close-off bookings for Christmas now.
Many agree there has been no slowdown for the industry this year.
A common frustration for local tradespeople is the tendency for holiday home owners to phone to request work to be done at short notice.
"Gone are those days where you can arrive for the day or the weekend and expect a tradesperson is available to do your work on-the-spot," said a local electrician.
Whitianga-based Percival Construction said the industry did not catch its breath after the first lockdown, when worked picked up almost immediately.
Managing director Damian Percival says the second lockdown in Auckland also had a big impact, slowing deliveries from specialty suppliers in Auckland, which delayed work being finished.
High demand for building has meant it's also difficult to secure various sub-contractors in time for deadlines.
"It's a constant juggling act," Percival said. "But we are all very fortunate to be in this position with the amount of work on the Coromandel, long may it last."
ITM Kōpū store manager Leon Zazulak said one of the biggest issues for the industry is getting materials.
"The whole supply chain is really being tested at the moment. It's not any one area – it's affecting timber, plywood, decking, screws – anything that's imported is really strained for supply."
This creates a lot of uncertainty and stress, as builders try to schedule jobs but then find out there is a month's delay on supplies.
"The store's sales are up, particularly for decking and fencing products."
"Construction was pretty buoyant anyway before Covid-19, so with people now doing renovations instead of going on holidays – that's put that extra pressure on the industry as a whole.
"I know of at least a couple of builders booked for all of next year already," Zazulak said.
Our council's regulatory team confirms the past few months have been extremely busy for building consents applications – defying early expectations for numbers to drop-off post-Covid-19.
Although the number of consent applications lodged is generally at the same level as last year (1150), the majority have come in since lockdown lifted in April, which has caused a busy time for processing nine months' worth of consents in a shorter timeframe.
"We have been excited with the bounce-back after the initial lockdown," said Brian Taylor, the council's regulatory manager.
"We noticed a drop in consent applications in March, April and May, however, that has picked up since, and we are on track to have a similar number of applications as last year.
"Because the applications have been pushed into a shorter period of time, with August and September in particular being much higher in comparison to last year, the team are under some pressure to keep things moving within our normal timeframes.
"It is great to see the industry continue to perform strongly and we are hoping to see that continue long-term."