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Weathertightness Summit

Weathertightness Summit

The building industry summit in Auckland today showed a strong industry commitment to arresting the leaky building problem as quickly as possible, the Building Industry Authority said.

Chairman Barry Brown said the summit brought industry leaders together to gain an understanding of the things organisations were doing to prevent a continuation of leaky building problems, and to identify areas where there needed to be a stronger focus.

“The Summit was about shared commitment and shared action so that we can put an end to this problem.

“The Authority is absolutely committed to ensuring traction is maintained and will work with any organisation in the industry, and with Government, to achieve that.”

A key outcome of the summit is a proposed industry taskforce to work through and implement the ideas and issues raised in the meeting. As well as industry representatives, the taskforce would include a local government (Local Government New Zealand) and a consumer representative (The Consumers Institute).

“There has been a huge amount of effort gone into today and many constructive ideas have emerged. The taskforce will make sure they are delivered on and it will also make sure the recommendations of the Hunn report are implemented,” Mr Brown said.

All parts of the building industry and associated sectors were represented at the meeting including builders, manufacturers, architects, designers, local government, building consultants and developers. Other interested groups such as the Consumers Institute, Bankers Association and Insurance Council also attended. (yes)

“Many individual businesses and organisations are working hard to put in place measures to arrest the problem,” Mr Brown said.

“The discussion was robust and, while not all in the industry agree on every point, the attitude of those attending the summit was constructive and forward looking.”

Based on industry submissions to the summit, a number of key action areas emerged: the provision of consumer information, advice and support gaining measurable improvements in building contract and procurement arrangements including registration of builders and other trades improving the standard of design documents improved education and training for all industry sectors support for building officials working in local government enhancing the legislative and regulatory environment so there is a better balance between a performance based or prescriptive approach instituting a weathertightness research programme with some short, medium and long term goals.

A number of specific commitments emerged from the meeting that would be implemented in the short-term or were already under way, including: industry organisations (like the Registered Master Builders Federation and Certified Builders) improving training programmes the Building and Contractors Industry Training Organisation reviewing its complete qualifications package a commitment from several local authorities to improving their inspection programmes Building Officers Institute of New Zealand producing a code of practice for building inspection by February 2003 the Building Industry Authority working with consumer groups to develop consumer information and advice on residential building, including the development of a “Home Building Guide” the Building Industry Authority investigating setting up field staff to support territorial authority inspectors and technical staff.

Mr Brown said the Building Industry Authority would actively work with the proposed taskforce so that practical solutions were put in place as quickly as possible.

“Doing nothing is not an option. We will work cooperatively with all players in the industry to generate the changes that are needed.”

He said the Authority will also ensure industry feedback and ideas are sent to the Government to contribute to its work on the problem. Feedback will also be channelled into the Government Administration Select Committee inquiry.

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