Building Act review underway

The Building Act 2004 (the Act) is being reviewed as part of the Government's regulatory reform programme. The review aims to ensure the regulatory environment for building and housing is efficient and effective, provides for public safety, and delivers good quality homes and buildings.

The review will look at:

  • ways to enhance building controls by removing regulation that adds cost for little benefit, streamlining existing rules, and providing incentives for building practitioners to lift performance
  • other longer-term issues on improving the allocation of risk and liability, and the greater use of insurance/warranty products to better manage risk.

At an event announcing the review in August 2009, the Minister for Building and Construction, Hon Maurice Williamson, told industry representatives that 'together we can make a real difference to lifting the performance of a sector which touches the lives of every New Zealander. If we get it right, this sector will live up to its promise and make a stronger contribution to building a more productive economy.'

When is it happening?

Work is already under way to identify opportunities to streamline or simplify the Act. This work is to be completed by the end of the year. A number of these changes are likely to require amendments to the Act in 2010.

Who is involved?

The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) is leading the review. To ensure the sector's issues are being addressed, DBH is working with a group of representatives from local government, the building and construction sector, and consumers. Where appropriate, other smaller groups will be set up to provide more detailed input. These groups will help DBH shape the options that the public and industry will be invited to consider and comment on in early 2010.

Have your say

Your views and ideas are welcome. Your main opportunity is in response to the consultation document due in early 2010. You will also be able to make submissions through the select committee stage.

If you wish to put forward your views or ideas in the interim, email your suggestions to or write to The Building Act Review Team, PO Box 10 729, Wellington.

Reproduced from Codewords Issue 40, December 2009, Department of Building and Housing.

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