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21 March 2019

MBIE Legislative Change Biggest for 15 Years


An update from the Building Industry Federation:

MBIE is calling its proposed legislative changes to the building regulatory system in the areas of risk and liability, building products and occupational regulation, the biggest change to the regulations since the Building Act was introduced in 2004. The Building Systems Performance General Manager, Anna Butler, says the programme may result in a long term programme of change in the sector.

Her views of the current situation are unequivocal: “Low productivity skills, skills and labour shortages and how costs are allocated when things go wrong are issues the sector is currently facing. Within the building regulatory system, roles and responsibilities are unclear. There’s insufficient information to help perform roles and an inability to hold people to account when things go wrong."

She says industry participants will have a chance to comment on what MBIE proposes through public consultation in the first quarter of this year. She says in the occupational licensing areas, the focus is on regimes for licensed building practitioners, engineers and plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers.

BIF’s views on potential changes to product regulation, the CodeMark system and the Building Code have been made clear to MBIE both through submissions and representation at workshops organised through MBIE.

We will keep you updated when proposals become public and be active in making MBIE and parliamentarians aware of your thinking.

Building consents — Bank comment: Westpac “first impressions” analysis of today’s building consent figures says that while on an annual basis, consents at 33,000 new dwellings over the past year are at their highest level since 2004, it is not obvious that they will continue to push higher over the coming year. Their senior economist believes it unlikely that issuance numbers will break significantly higher over the coming year. He considers issuances in Wellington and many other regions have flattened off in recent months, with Canterbury having shown unexpected strength that it doubts will continue. “Overall we expect consent numbers will remain elevated over the coming year, but we don’t expect to see a further significant rise from current levels. Consent numbers are broadly in line with changes in the population”.

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