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Government Provides Greater Assurance To Homeowners

The Government has provided greater assurance for homeowners with the introduction of a new code of ethics for Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs), Building and Construction Minister Poto Williams announced today.

The Code of Ethics, which comes into force in October 2022, sets behavioural standards for LBPs to give both the industry and consumers clarity on what is expected from those who are licensed, and to hold them to account.

“With building consents at a record high for the sixth month in a row - New Zealanders need building practitioners who are trained, skilled, and accountable,” Poto Williams said.

“The vast majority of licensed building practitioners are already working to the highest professional and ethical standards. Formalising this into a code of ethics aligns the LBP scheme with international best practice, and provides an additional tool for the Building Practitioners Board to address any areas of poor behaviour.

“Homeowners will be able to have greater confidence that, where they choose a licensed building practitioner to undertake building work, those people are doing so in a safe, legal and professional way and that they will take responsibility for their work,” Poto Williams said.

The Code of Ethics provides clear grounds for the Building Practitioners Board to take disciplinary action against practitioners who behave unprofessionally, enabling the Board to issue fines or revoke licences where necessary.

The Code of Ethics is divided into four key principles: working safely; acting within the law; taking responsibility; and behaving professionally. Each principle is supported by clear obligations in the Code of Ethics outlining how the principle applies in practice.

The review of the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme is part of a series of reforms to building laws to lift the efficiency and quality of building work in New Zealand. The reforms will see a more efficient building system, a lift in the quality of building work, and fairer outcomes if things go wrong. Changes to the LBP scheme are part of the second phase of reforms, which aim to lift the performance of building professionals and tradespeople, and hold accountable those who do not meet the standards set for them.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will conduct an education campaign during the 12 month transition period prior to the Code of Ethics coming into effect to help Licensed Building Practitioners understand what the Code of Ethics means for them.

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