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Unified Construction Industry Group Established

Nz Construction Industry Council

Unified Construction Industry Group Established

The formation of a New Zealand Construction Industry Council containing the country's major professional and trade organisations linked to the building and construction industry was announced today.

The first assignment on its agenda is to correct the conditions in the industry that members believe led to the weather-tight buildings problem said the Chairman, Mr John Pfahlert, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Contractors Federation.

"Our aim is to rebuild consumer confidence in the industry as a whole and to represent the interests of the industry in developing standards and procedures that will ensure there is no repeat of today's situation."

Mr Pfahlert said the Council was established yesterday by the Construction Liaison Group, a pan-industry grouping that has been in existence for approximately 10 years as an informal discussion forum for a range of trade and professional associations.

Members of the Council include: Registered Master Builders Federation, NZ Institute of Architects, Building Industry Federation (representing materials suppliers), Certified Builders Association, BRANZ and the Contractors Federation - as well as 15 other professional institutes and trade bodies representing all aspects of the construction industry.

"Collectively our membership believes that the weather-tight issue has shown up a need for leadership that must be exercised to restore the confidence New Zealanders are entitled to feel in standards of construction throughout the home and commercial building industry," said Mr Pfahlert.

"We intend to give that leadership. Our immediate priorities are two fold. The first is to get in place as quickly as possible quality procedures that will ensure future standards. Our second is to work with the Government and local authorities to address the problems already identified that involve home and apartment owners.

"By bringing together the professional and trade groups that represent all sections of the industry, through design and architecture, building firms, research, materials suppliers and training organisations, we believe we can restore faith in the industry's ability to deliver the high standards our customers are entitled to expect.

"There are likely to be more than 18,000 homes built in New Zealand next year. If it means making life tougher for ourselves through more exacting standards, more frequent and rigorous inspections and training obligation we will adopt them in order to make sure New Zealanders get what they expect - homes that are built to last with a minimum of problems."

Mr Pfahlert said the Council hoped to be in a position early next week to announce a broad outline of early action the Council believed necessary to eliminate many of the conditions that led, in its view, to the current problem.

"In regard to already identified home owner problems we see these falling into three areas:

Situations in which contracts or procedures exist that permit disputes to be settled through legal action Circumstances that can be dealt with under the Government's announced mediation process in which the parties agree to mediation Extremely difficult cases where liability cannot be easily attributed.

"It may well be that as has happened overseas some of these latter cases will have to be dealt with by either local authorities or the government.

"We believe that the mediation process established by the government will go some way toward identifying the scope of the problem that exists as it will provide an immediate outlet for expressions of grievance."

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