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Building changes will ‘swing pendulum back’

NEWS RELEASE
26 March 2008

Building changes will ‘swing pendulum back’

Wellington City Council is pleased at the proposed changes to building industry rules announced today by the Government.

“The pendulum had swung too far – after more than a decade of deregulation and a too-far, too-fast approach that led to leaky buildings and other problems in the construction industry, the Government applied the brakes by way of the Building Act 2004 –a tougher, more rigorous, building regime,” says the Council’s Sector Projects Director, George Skimming.

“The changes announced this week swing the pendulum back to a position where house buyers are reasonably protected against shoddy building practises and building defects – but without the levels of red tape that have pushed up construction costs and slowed down building in the last couple of years.”

Mr Skimming says he is glad Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones has listened to Wellington City Council, other local authorities and the building industry in general.

“We were always concerned that the 2004 laws would be too tough – and so it proved. We are just very pleased that we are now moving back to a position of equilibrium – especially in terms of the low-cost end of the building market.”

Mr Skimming says he is particularly pleased at the Government’s commitment to look at ways to improve collection and sharing of information on building products and product performance to improve knowledge and awareness among consenting authorities.

“In the Wellington Region the local authorities have been sharing information and standardising procedures for a number of years – and this nationwide approach is obviously a logical progression.”


ENDS

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