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Ind. Aims to Strengthen Home Owners Protection

19 February, 2004 MEDIA RELEASE

Construction Industry Aims to Strengthen Home Owners Protection

Affordability, consumer choice and innovation were key elements that must be achieved in the establishment of a regulatory framework for the home building sector the Construction Industry Council (CIC) told Parliamentarians today.

Appearing before the Building Bill Select Committee, a representative of the Council, Mr Chris Preston, said the council was supportive of the purpose and general approach of the legislation.

“Solidly constructed and affordable new homes are far more commonplace around New Zealand than houses which provide their owners with ongoing problems such as weather tightness. Our aim is to keep it that way. Our support for this legislation stems from the additional consumer confidence that it will bring to the market.

“We want to ensure that the impact of additional consumer protection measures does not unduly raise construction costs. We don’t want to see these measures used to reduce or make difficult the ability to have alternative solutions approved in a timely and cost effective manner.”

Mr Preston said the CIC favoured a performance-based building code as a stated objective because this, in its view, would foster both good design and good practice.

“We also support the licensing of building practitioners to self certify that the work they have done or supervised meets the building code. Further, we believe that provision for industry-based trade associations to licence builders who satisfy the criteria, would help reduce the cost of licensing and speed up the process to the benefit of consumers.”

Other specific matters that the Council raised with the select committee included:

- A review of building controls in other statutes and their incorporation into the Building Bill – such as fencing of swimming pools legislation.

- That the statute set up of an industry Advisory Board for regular contact with the Chief Executive, and that the Board have the ability to prepare an Annual Report to the Minister on its activities.

- That a portion of the Building Levy should be targeted for use in the development of building Standards by Standards New Zealand - ends

ENDS

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