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Building Act 2004 takes effect 31 March 2005

24 March 2005

Building Act 2004 takes effect 31 March 2005

New Government measures to ensure buildings are designed and built right first time come into effect on 31st March.

Everyone involved in the building industry, including designers, architects and draftsmen, builders and sub-contractors, building owners and managers, developers, members of the public involved in building work or renovations, and those involved in building sale and purchase agreements need to become familiar with the Building Act 2004.

Extensive changes will be phased in over a number of years up to 2009. Anyone who contacts Manukau City Council for building projects from 31 March will need to provide a greater level of detail with their consent and may require knowledge of the Building Code to complete their application. Buildings requiring consents will now be required to be completed within a period of two years.

Owing to the increase in information required for a building consent application, local authorities now have 20 days compared to the10 days in which to process applications under previous legislation.

The New Zealand Fire Service will now have input into consents that have a fire design aspect, for example commercial buildings with 'means of escape' from fire. Other changes mean consents for commercial industrial buildings must be completed and issued with a Code Compliance Certificate before being occupied. In the past, occupation was allowed prior to the issue of a Code Compliance Certificate.

The Building Act 2004 will make it clearer to all in the industry what standards their buildings are required to meet. It will encourage better practices in building design and construction.

"Changes to the consent and inspection process will provide a greater assurance that work is completed to the standards in the New Zealand Building Code", said Manukau City Council's Director of City Services, Wayne Goodley.

Among other measures that will come into effect over time are builder practitioner licensing; a new regime for ensuring greater certainty that capable people are undertaking building work, and training and licensing of anyone who undertakes building work that requires certification.

The Department of Building and Housing, which overseas the Building Act 2004, has been working with councils to assist in the transition to the new process and has also set up a technical helpdesk for building officials. More information on the changes to the Building Act can be obtained from their website www.building.govt.nz ..

ENDS

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