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PSA welcomes reintegration of housing agencies

PSA welcomes reintegration of housing agencies

The Public Service Association (PSA) says formal establishment today of the new Department of Building and Housing will bring much needed clarity to building standards and regulation after years of fragmentation.

The PSA represents staff working in the various agencies which are coming together to form the new Department, including staff from the ministries of housing and economic development, the Building Industry Authority (from the end of this month) and the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (from 1 April 2005).

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott said the establishment of the Department is a further welcome move to rebuild and strengthen the core public service.

“Housing is a fundamental concern of all New Zealanders. The new Department of Building and Housing has a big job to do to strengthen building standards and restore public confidence on housing issues.

“The fragmentation of the state during the 1990s could be most clearly seen in the housing sector with half a dozen organisations working away separately. As the leaky buildings crisis showed it is long past time that they were reintegrated to provide a coherent overview to government and better protection to the public.

“The PSA was involved in the establishment the new Department and we earlier identified it as priority cluster of public organisations to be reintegrated as part of the government’s Review of the Centre.

“We want to ensure that the new organisation provides improved service to the public and the building industry, as well as a positive work culture and career pathways to ensure it can attract and retain suitably qualified staff. In the latter regard we note that some staff transferring to the new Department will now be able to join the State Sector Retirement Scheme which we were involved in establishing.

“Ultimately New Zealanders will judge the success of the Department of Building and Housing by their dealings with and in the way it administers the new Building Act. The PSA will continue to work with the Department to ensure the vision for it is realised,” Brenda Pilott said.

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