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Labour Opposes Building Reform Act

The committee stage of the Customs and Excise (Joint Border Management Information Sharing and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was completed on a voice vote without further debate.

Debate began on the committee stage of the Building Amendment Bill (No 3) with the responsible Minister, Maurice Williamson saying he acknowledged criticism that the bill was not comprehensive.

Williamson said a more extensive bill would have been favourable, but it had been decided to get on with what could be done.

``This is only part of the total picture’’ and further legislation was progressing.

Williamson said liability structure was one area he wanted to work on with a move to proportional liability instead joint and several liability.

But he described this as problematic and the Law Commission had been asked to look at the issue.

This bill was part of the wider picture and importantly revamped the approval and inspection of buildings reducing the level of scrutiny at the lower end of the risk scale.

The bill would also make it clearer that a licensed builder would have to be used for important structural work, Williamson said.

Labour MP Phil Twyford said Labour would be voting against the bill ``more in sorrow than anger’’ from this stage on.

Labour believed the reform of building law should not be done in piecemeal fashion.

Debate on the bill continues.

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