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Building botch-ups causing nightmares

Hon. Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

31 March 2005

Building botch-ups causing nightmares

“Building owners and designers have been left completely exposed by the serious flaws in Labour’s new Building Act which takes effect today,” says National Party Building and Construction spokesman Nick Smith.

“The Minister has today admitted that the Act is so seriously flawed that there is no way architects, engineers or building owners can comply with the Act.

“New Zealand’s 15,000 architects, engineers and designers are breaking the law by doing design work because the Act prohibits any ‘building work’ without a building consent. Design work is included in the definition of ‘building work’.

“Furthermore, building owners cannot comply with the requirement that they must have a warrant of fitness issued by a ‘licensed building practitioner’ because no ‘licensed building practitioners’ are to be appointed until 2009.

“Builders are caught in the impossible position of not being able to allow the use of completed sections of a building, thus requiring buildings like Southland’s hospital, Auckland Airport and the Beehive to be closed.

“The Minister even admitted today that his Department of Building and Housing is also breaching the new act over copyright provisions.

“The legal implications of this mess are extremely serious, as non-compliance with the law threatens insurance cover for building owners and those who work in the sector.

“Surely the buck must stop with the Minister. Someone must take responsibility for this mess,” says Dr Smith.


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