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Building Act Changes put to Parliament

On 8 May 2020, the Minister for Building and Construction introduced the Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to the House

The changes in this Bill form part of a wider programme of work to lift performance of the regulatory system and drive better outcomes for the sector and for New Zealanders.

The aim is to make changes that will allow the sector to shift to new, more effective ways of working, help support productivity improvements, lift the efficiency and quality of building work and improve trust and confidence in the building regulatory system.

Public input on the proposed reforms was sought last year and, in November, the Government announced the first changes it intended to implement. Key changes encapsulated in the Amendment Bill will:

  • Introduce minimum information requirements about building products to support better and more efficient decision-making.

  • Introduce a specialist framework for modern methods of construction, such as offsite manufacturing and prefabrication, and speed up the consenting process.

  • Strengthen the product certification framework (CodeMark) to improve trust and confidence in the scheme.

Landscaping products

For most landscapers, the more pertinent changes will relate to information and responsibilities for building products used in projects that require a building consent. Currently, products are only regulated through the consenting process by how they are specified and used in building work.

Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) frequently need to request information about specified products to ensure compliance with building code requirements, which can create costly delays.

There is also an increasing range and complexity of building materials and methods, and cheaper alternatives available, increasing the risk of not meeting building code requirements from using an unsafe product.

What’s changing?

The Bill introduces the power to prescribe minimum requirements for information about building products that are available to the New Zealand market. This will need to be provided by product manufacturers and suppliers. It will

give people the information they need to make good decisions about products, use them as intended, and will provide clarity on who can be held accountable if something goes wrong.

The information required will be set by regulations which are still to be developed. It is proposed that they include:

  • A description of the product.

  • Details of the supplier, including contact information.

  • Information on the scope and limitations of use for the product.

  • Design, installation and maintenance requirements.

  • A declaration of whether the product is subject to a warning or ban.

What this means

Product manufacturers, suppliers, importers and distributers will need to:

  • Make a minimum set of information about building products publicly available.

  • Provide evidence for any product claims, made to ensure accurate information.

  • Ensure product information is not false or misleading, and false representations are not made.

Designers, builders and landscape builders will be able to use more detailed product information to make better informed decisions on products, and ensure they are used as intended. Responsibilities will be clearer, so builders can be held to account for sub-standard work. The goal is that this will lead to higher quality builds and less rework.

BCAs may be able to make building decisions more quickly, informed by better product information, leading to more efficient consenting.

Building owners will benefit from better quality building work, saving time and money on less rework and more efficient consenting. Maintenance requirements of building products to ensure durability will be clearer.

What happens next

The Bill will have its first reading in Parliament and then begin a Select Committee process, where everyone has the opportunity to have their say. You can follow the Bill’s progression on the Parliamentary website. Details of how to make a submission will be available soon, so make sure to keep an eye on


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