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Liability will continue under new Building Act

24 October 2003 Media Statement

Liability will continue under new Building Act

Liability will be carried over to a new building regulatory body when the new Building Act comes into force, Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

“Comments reported in the media suggesting that changes to the Building Act would effectively remove the right to take legal action against the regulatory body, are simply incorrect.

“The Building Bill, currently being considered by the Government Administration Select Committee, will pave the way for the Building Industry Authority’s (BIA) functions to be moved to a government Ministry. However, I note that the reported comments erroneously claim that this change will exclude the new body from liability.

“The Building Bill specifically provides that liability and/or proceedings against the BIA will continue against the Crown.

“Clause 361 provides ‘all rights, assets, liabilities and debts that the Authority had immediately before the commencement of this part must be treated as the rights, assets, liabilities and debts of the Crown on that commencement.’

“The question of liability is a matter to be determined by the court. It does not matter if the proceeding is taken after the BIA’s functions are transferred to a Ministry. If the court decides that the BIA was liable – the Ministry which will absorb the BIA functions, will be liable,” Lianne Dalziel.

Refer: Clauses 361, 367, and 368 of the Building Bill.
To view the Building Bill online:
http://www.med.govt.nz/buslt/bus_pol/building/review/bill/index.html

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