New Zealand Law Society - Major changes proposed for building law

Major changes proposed for building law

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Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa has released proposals for major changes to New Zealand's building law.

The proposed changes affect people, products and practices in the building sector. Changes have been identified to improve building laws in five key areas.

A discussion paper says the building sector faces a number of long-standing problems. These problems range from low productivity and inefficient practices and processes, to skills and labour shortages, to poor health and safety.

It says consultation across the sector about problems with how the regulatory system functions show three common themes - roles and responsibilities are not clear, information is not available when needed, and it is difficult to hold people to account for the quality of their work.

“We are consulting on proposals to: improve the regulation of building products and modern methods of construction including offsite manufacturing; strengthen occupational regulation; look at how risk and liability are managed; possibly reduce the building levy; and strengthen penalties for those who don’t comply with the law," Ms Salesa says.

“I expect this reform to create a building sector where people understand their responsibilities and increase the number of skilled workers; where better quality means building it right first time and people are better protected if that doesn’t happen; and where people are accountable when things go wrong."

Submissions on the proposals are being sought. These close on 16 June 2019.

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