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Industry Support for Revised Building Bill

8 July 2004

Media Release for Immediate Use

Industry Support for Revised Building Bill

The Building Industry Federation believes the Government Administration Select Committee has done a good job with the Building Bill reported back to Parliament yesterday.

Federation Chief Executive, John Pfahlert said he was particularly pleased to see the suggestions of industry picked up with the establishment of a building advisory panel to advise the new Chief executive of the Department of Building and Housing.

“The panel will have the role of providing advice to the chief executive on current and emerging trends in technology, changes in building design, and other factors that may affect the building code” said Mr Pfahlert

“We are also pleased that there is an increased emphasis in the Bill on the role good design plays in the building process, rather than just focusing on construction. We also agree with new provisions that require that any adverse health effects of building design, methods of construction and materials must also be considered.”

The Federation did question why the Bill had retained a 5 year transition period before builders would require to be licensed. Mr Pfahlert said it was difficult to accept that the system being put in place was so complicated that 5 years was required to design and implement a licensing system. He saw no reason why the transition to a licensing regime could not be achieved in 3 years.

Another aspect of the new law that was supported was a requirement that the costs of a building, including maintenance, over the life of the building should be had regard to in achieving the purpose of the Act.

“Too many buildings have been constructed in New Zealand without any regard to maintenance requirements. Whole of life costing will ensure better quality design and construction in future” said Mr Pfahlert.

Mr Pfahlert said the Federation also supported changes to the rules affecting owner-builders. The changes mean the do-it-yourself sector will not be exempt from the requirement to engage a licensed building practitioner for restricted building work – defined to mean the envelope of a building or building essential to the structural integrity of the building.

“It is important that people modifying houses or building their own home either know what they are doing, and are supervised to ensure they meet the requirements of the Building Code” said Mr Pfahlert.

ENDS

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