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Claims Parliament will have to close are nonsense

30 March 2005 Media Statement

Claims Parliament will have to close are nonsense

Claims by National MP Nick Smith that Parliament and Auckland Airport will have to close on Friday because of a section in the new Building Act are complete nonsense, Building Issues Minister Chris Carter said today.

"Nick Smith today attacked Section 363 of the new Building Act requiring that public buildings must be finished, approved as safe and have a code compliance certificate before they can be used by the public," Mr Carter said.

"This section was introduced in direct response to the Cave Creek inquiry, where 14 people died because of an unsafe public structure. Smith claims the new section will force the closure of entire public buildings where only small parts of those buildings are being renovated.

"This is rubbish. Nick Smith is painting an extreme scenario, which only he is seriously contemplating," Mr Carter said.

"Section 363 is not as explicit as it could be, and I will move to clarify its intent with an amendment to the Act. In the interim, I am confident that councils, which have responsibility for implementing and enforcing Section 363, will take a common sense approach to it. Many are already doing so and only requiring the closure of specific areas of public buildings where construction work is occurring.

"It would be useful to everyone involved in the building sector if Nick Smith also took a common sense approach to the new Act, which was introduced to clean up the mess National made of building regulations in the 1990s," Mr Carter said.

ENDS

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