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Industry Support for Dept of Building and Housing

30 June 2004

Media Statement for Immediate Release

Industry Support for Department of Building and Housing

The NZ Construction Industry Council said today that it welcomed the announcement by Ministers of the establishment of a new Department of Building and Housing.

Council Chair John Pfahlert said the Council had lent its support to the concept when the issue was first raised with industry nearly a year ago.

“In our view the decision to consolidate a variety of housing policy and building regulatory functions into one Department is a very sensible move” said Mr Pfahlert.

“First and foremost it will ensure that there is one government department with a strong policy capability able to interface with the building industry on a co-ordinated basis. Industry currently deals with at least 4 different government agencies.

“Secondly, it will ensure better co-ordination between government agencies and the industry on the development of regulation and building control standards”.

Mr Pfahlert said that the Council also supported the continued separation between the new Department and Housing New Zealand, the agency responsible for managing State housing accommodation in NZ. Had they been included in the newly established department there was potential for a conflict of interest between the regulatory/standards setting function and that of also being a large builder of new houses.

“Similar conflict could potentially have arisen between the tenancy tribunal functions currently run by Ministry of Housing and the fact that Housing NZ is also the largest landlord in New Zealand.

Mr Pfahlert said he believed the new agency had the potential to strengthen the regulatory framework associated with the building industry. In particular, it is likely to result in a broader focus on social/health outcomes, consumer protection and a broader range of building related standards, rather than the historical focus on just the building control system.”

ENDS


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