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Govt sets out proposals for amending Building Act

The Government has released a discussion document outlining proposals for amending the Building Act.The Act has been reviewed, and Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said today the proposals were open to debate and change."While th

NZPA
Fri, 26 Feb 2010

The Government has released a discussion document outlining proposals for amending the Building Act.

The Act has been reviewed, and Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said today the proposals were open to debate and change.

"While the Building Act review has found that the system is not broken, and quality is improving, it is still more costly than necessary and less efficient than it could be," he said.

"I'm convinced there is room for improvement and consistency across the country...I have an open mind on the best way to achieve this."

Mr Williamson said the discussion document and consultation were part of the Better Building Blueprint, a series of measures that would make it easier and cheaper for New Zealanders to build good quality homes.

"The public must be able to have confidence in the system which is why I want their input into any proposed change," he said.

"We want to make sure we get the right balance between risk, regulation and skills and this consultation will help us do that."

The key proposals include:

* Lowest risk building work, such as a basic shed or a low deck, would not need consent;

* Low risk building work, such as a simple house, would go through a quicker, simpler consenting process;

* High risk, more complex houses would continue to go through the current approval and inspection process;

* Complex, major commercial building work would go through a simpler process than it currently does, recognising the experience and skills of the professionals involved;

* Building professionals and trades people would take more responsibility for making sure their work meets Building Code requirements. Licensing of builders will identify those with the relevant skills;

* Homeowners would be better equipped to hold builders to account, with mandatory written contracts.

NZPA
Fri, 26 Feb 2010
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Govt sets out proposals for amending Building Act
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