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Legislation means better buildings

13 July 2004

Legislation means better buildings

New Zealanders can have confidence that buildings will be designed and built right first time, thanks to new legislation going through Parliament, Associate Commerce Minister John Tamihere says.

The Building Bill, reforming regulation of building work in New Zealand, has been reported back to Parliament by the Government Administration Select Committee.

The select committee considered nearly 300 submissions on the bill, which updates the existing Building Act 1991, and Mr Tamihere said he would like to acknowledge the efforts of both the committee and those who made submissions.

"A strong building industry and buildings that are well built are critical for the wellbeing of New Zealanders, socially and economically," Mr Tamihere said.

"I am particularly pleased that the committee endorsed new measures giving consumers extra protection when buying homes from developers."

Under the proposed legislation a sale will not be able to be completed till the developer gets a certificate confirming the property complies with the Building Code.

The select committee consulted closely with the building industry in considering the legislation, which provides better regulation of building work, introduces warranties on building work, establishes a licensing regime for building practitioners (similar to those that apply to plumbers and electricians) and sets high standards for buildings.

From 2009 it will be compulsory for "restricted work" to be carried out or supervised by people certified as competent. (Restricted work is work such as building a high deck or removing a structural wall that could cause harm to people or buildings if done badly. "DIYers" will still be able to carry out work like gibbing and other renovating projects unsupervised.)

Mr Tamihere said the bill provided a balanced regulatory framework for the building industry that both home buyers and the industry had been seeking.

"The distress that can occur when homes are not built properly can be devastating, and this bill aims to prevent that from happening. I look forward to the bill progressing through its remaining stages in Parliament," Mr Tamihere said.

Copies of the select committee report can be downloaded from www.parliament.govt.nz


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