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National commits to cutting building red tape

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Building and Construction Spokesman

9 September 2008

National commits to cutting building red tape

National will cut back on the excessive red tape in the building industry and instead drive quality by encouraging warranties, better standards and improved skills, says National’s Building and Construction spokesman, Nick Smith.

National’s building and construction policy was released today.

“The bureaucracy in the building industry has added more than $20,000 in unnecessary costs to the average home. We need to simplify the system and put the focus on commercial accountability by strongly encouraging building warranties.

“We also have to address the expensive and frustrating delays in processing building consents. We will be introducing a building ombudsman with the power to discount or waive building consent fees where statutory time frames have been breached.

“We also want to rebuild the standards system by redirecting building levy funds away from the bureaucracy of the department and instead putting it into updating building standards and making them more accessible.

“We will also simplify building licensing by working with the building, engineering, and architectural professions on a system that uses existing professional bodies.

“We will put trades and industry training back into the heart of our school system with our Trades in Schools policy. We will also work with the Building Officials Institute and the Institute of Chartered Surveyors to improve building certification as part of lifting skills in the industry.

“National will undertake a comprehensive analysis to establish the scale and cost of the leaky-home problem so we can work with the affected homeowners and councils on a cost-effective system where the focus is on getting the homes fixed.”


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