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Uncertainty and chaos outcome of govt decision

9 September, 2004

Uncertainty and chaos outcome of government decision to oust private building certifiers

Uncertainty and chaos in the housing market are likely consequences of the Government decision to exclude private building certifiers says the Chief Executive of the Building Industry Federation, Mr John Pfahlert.

He said today the Government had not consulted industry before deciding to refuse interim arrangements that would have allowed private building certifiers to continue operating under the Building Act.

“The fact is that many communities are totally reliant on private certifiers to carry out building inspections. Without territorial councils having sufficient building inspectors to do the work it is inevitable that there will be a period of chaos and delays in the inspection of homes under construction.

“It is appalling that the Government knew this situation would develop and chose not to make appropriate arrangements for an interim solution, or amend the Building Act before its final passage through Parliament,” Mr Pfahlert said.

“The Government is entitled to take a view that the inspection process should be carried out by territorial councils. But it seems strange that it should at the same time rule out from the market hundreds of private certifiers who have good track records.

“There is plenty of evidence that new housing construction is proceeding at extremely high levels. Industry and the community are entitled to expect that government administration will ensure such an important economic sector is not disrupted by action which might be termed cavalier.

“The private feelings of the cabinet minister concerned about individuals carrying out lawful business should not enter the equation. After all, within a short space of time the very same people who will lose their jobs with private certifying companies will be doing the same job employed by local councils. There are going to be some hot tempers in evidence around the country today. Both families whose homes are nearing completion and builders will have unkind words to voice in plain language.

“Peoples’ hopes and dreams are in limbo. Councils have said, like Manukau City, that they’re under resourced for the certification task. If they’re struggling at the moment what does this do for new home owners. It doesn’t bode well for them, especially young people looking forward to entering their first new home and who now face higher interest rates on their mortgages. It is not a pretty picture.”


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