MBIE has recently announced major proposed changes to building laws which could have significant implications for builders, manufacturers and others involved in the building industry.

The proposed changes address three primary areas – building products and methods, building occupation regulation, and risk and liability. Some of the proposed changes include to:

  • Require product manufacturers and suppliers to provide publicly accessible information about their building products, including product descriptions and design, installation and maintenance requirements.
  • Make manufacturers and suppliers responsible for ensuring that a building product is fit for its intended purpose.
  • Widen the definition of ‘restricted building work’ to include more complex non-residential building work (increasing the types of building work which require Licenced Building Practioners).
  • Raise the competence standards for Licenced Building Practioners and introduce a tiered licensing system for them, with a separate license for supervision.
  • Require builders to provide homeowners with a guarantee and insurance product for new builds and significant alterations, before starting work.
  • Not establish a cap on liability of building consent authorities where they have contributed to defects in a building (and, for instance, are sued in negligence).

These are only a summary of some of the proposed changes to our building laws. MBIE has also proposed changes to the building levy system and penalties regime. The latter includes to increase the maximum financial penalties for breaches of the Building Act 2004 to $300,000 for individuals and $1.5 million for organisations.

MBIE’s Discussion Paper and further information on the proposed changes and consultation process are here – https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/building-system-legislative-reform-programme-public-consultation.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday, 16 June 2019.