Government proposes major changes to building laws

13 May 19

On 14 April 2019 the Government announced its proposal to make the biggest changes to New Zealand’s building laws in over a decade.

The changes aim to address long-standing challenges in the building sector and tackle a number of concerns, with the key issues being:

  • improving the regulation of building products and modern methods of construction including offsite manufacturing;
  • strengthening occupational regulation;
  • re-assessing how risk and liability are managed;
  • possible reductions to the building levy; and
  • strengthening penalties for those who fail to comply with the law.

The reforms have been prompted by a number of enduring and far-reaching problems within the building sector. These problems range from low productivity and inefficient practices and processes, skills and labour shortages, to poor health and safety. The proposed changes acknowledge that to achieve its potential the building sector needs an efficient building regulatory system that encourages innovation, while ensuring buildings are safe, healthy and durable.

The goal of the proposed changes is to lift quality throughout the construction sector and make sure things go right in the building process the first time, and deliver fairer outcomes when things do go wrong. The proposed changes are closely linked to people’s roles and focus on three key areas:

  1. Setting out clear roles and responsibilities for all participants in the building system.
  2. Making sure that people in all roles have the information they need to work to high standards.
  3. Holding people accountable to the responsibilities of their role.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment invites the industry professionals from the construction and building sector, and the wider public, to submit feedback on the proposed reforms. The consultation is open until 16 June 2019.


Want to know more?

If you require further information or advice about the proposed building law reform, or would like to make a submission please do not hesitate to contact our specialist Dispute Resolution or Construction Team.


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