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Building Act rules a nightmare for hospitals

Hon Nick Smith - National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

7 March 2005

Building Act rules a nightmare for hospitals and others

Huge unnecessary building costs and delays will result from Labour's new Building Act for building redevelopments such as Wellington's Kenepuru Hospital, says National's Building and Construction spokesman, Nick Smith.

He is commenting on reports that new rules, which say that a building must fully comply with every aspect of its consent before it can be used, will create a nightmare for the Kenepuru Hospital redevelopment.

"Patients, doctors and the public will be the losers with the delays and extra costs imposed on the redevelopment of Kenepuru Hospital," says Dr Smith.

"It is inevitable with a staged hospital redevelopment that parts of the building will need to be used before the whole project is complete.

"The new law is quite impractical for building redevelopments. The decision to scrap interim code compliance certificates and prohibit the use of a building until full code compliance is given is unreasonable and inefficient.

"This new law is a nightmare, and not just for hospital redevelopments. There is huge concern among builders, architects and engineers as to the effect this law will have on schools, office re-fits, hotels and apartment buildings.

"The building industry is a huge sector worth $17.4 billion each year to the New Zealand economy.

"The Act was a rushed knee-jerk reaction to the leaky home scandal without practical input from the industry. It is going to cause far more problems than it solves," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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