Feedback request: MBIE Building system legislative reform – NZGS submission

- Ross Roberts

The NZGS Management Committee is pleased to announce that they have published a “Final Draft” of the response that they have developed for the MBIE “BUILDING SYSTEM LEGISLATIVE REFORM’ public consultation process.

Due to the short timeframe available our approach has been to produce a detailed draft response, then use this as the basis for feedback from our members. Any feedback from NZGS Members on the Final Draft Submission – even if it is just “I am in general agreement with the content of the Final Draft Submission” – would be greatly appreciated.

Without doubt, this is the most significant legislative reform proposal since the current Building Act was introduced in 2004.

The proposed reforms will affect all people, products and practices across the entire national building and construction sector, in particular structural engineers, geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists. If you are passionate about your profession, then you must voice your opinion on the proposed reforms!

All members may view and/or download a copy of the Final Draft document below:

All feedback on the Final Draft document should be sent via email to:

If you wish to debate this with your colleagues you are welcome to use the comments section on this page, or LinkedIn – these debates will not however be counted as formal feedback.

The closing time for all NZGS Member feedback on the Final Draft submission is 12 noon on Sunday 09 June 2019.

Full details of the proposed reform program can be downloaded from the MBIE webpage:

www.mbie.govt.nz/building-reform

Since the official launch of the public consultation period on 16 April 2019, and the release of the associated supporting documentation, the NZGS National Management Committee has worked in close collaboration with Engineering New Zealand (ENZ), the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand Inc (SESOC) and the New Zealand Society of Seismic Engineering Inc (NZSEE) to ensure general alignment and agreement is achieved between these key sister organizations.

At the time of writing this article, ENZ had published a preliminary opinion which can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.engineeringnz.org/news-insights/mbie-proposes-new-way-regulating-engineers/

You can submit your own additional, separate feedback to MBIE via one of the following methods:

  • as an individual by downloading and completing the MBIE submission form and emailing it to “building@mbie.govt.nz”, or,
  • as an individual by filling out the online survey which is linked under the “How to make a submission” section at the bottom of the MBIE webpage (see above for the web address), and/or,
  • as part of a submission which is being compiled by a stakeholder group such as your employer.

At the time of writing this report the deadline date for all submissions to MBIE is 5:00pm on Sunday 16 June 2019.

 

In summary, the key areas and objectives of the proposals currently outlined by MBIE are as follows:

Building products and methods:

  • clarify roles and responsibilities for building products and methods.
  • require manufacturers and suppliers to provide information about building products.
  • strengthen the framework for product certification, and,
  • make consenting easier for modern methods of construction.

Occupational regulation:

  • change the licensed building practitioners scheme to raise competence standards and broaden the definition of restricted building work.
  • introduce a new licensing scheme for engineers and restrict who can carry out safety‑critical engineering work, and,
  • remove exemptions that allow unlicensed people to carry out sanitary plumbing, gas fitting and drain laying work.

Risk and liability:

  • require a guarantee and insurance product for residential new builds and significant alterations, and allow homeowners to actively opt out of it, and,
  • leave the liability settings for building consent authorities unchanged.

Building levy:

  • reduce the building levy from $2.01 including GST to $1.50 including GST (per $1,000).
  • standardise the building levy threshold at $20,444 including GST, and,
  • allow MBIE to spend funds raised by the building levy on broader stewardship of the building sector.

Offences, penalties and public notification:

  • increase the maximum financial penalties.
  • set different maximum penalties for individuals and organisations.
  • extend the time enforcement agencies can lay a charge from six months to 12 months, and,
  • remove the requirement to publish key decisions in newspapers, information would still be published on publicly accessible websites and in the New Zealand Gazette.

As previously advised, you can find all you need to know regarding the MBIE consultation process at the following webpage:

www.mbie.govt.nz/building-reform

I look forward to hearing from many of you soon – hopefully you like what the NZGS National Management Committee has compiled on your behalf!

Best Regards

 

Tony Fairclough

NZGS Chair 2017 – 2019

Email:   Chair@nzgs.org

Ross Roberts
Email - ross.c.roberts@gmail.com

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