Urgent fix to new home consent process needed

Press Release – Building Industry Federation

21 September, 2018

The Government must move as a matter of urgency to clear up the delays and confusion in the consent and compliance process costing home owners and industry thousands of dollars every year says the Building Industry Federation.

Chief Executive Bruce Kohn said today the report by Martin Jenkins of Auckland Council floundering and customer satisfaction being at “an all-time low” pictures a process in disarray which should not be tolerated.

“Auckland Council suffers from a nation-wide shortage of skilled personnel with a deep knowledge of industry complexities that are necessary to rapid assessment of compliance. The Building Officials Institute (BOINZ) is trying hard to lift standards and improve the process but face an uphill battle because of surging demand for new homes.

“In our view the situation is best addressed through a tightening of accountabilities and liabilities across the residential building industry with mandatory requirements for use of Building Code compliant products and materials through suppliers, designers as specifiers and builders.

“Coupled to an introduction of compulsory new home warranties, backed in large part by insurance providers and builder representative organisations, such a revitalized system would lead to sufficient surety in the quality of new builds to eliminate the need for much of Council consent and compliance processing.

“In the face of potential losses to their bottom line profitability Insurers would not tolerate shoddy construction. Effectively their conditions for offering warranties and their inspection processes to assure these are met would replace the need for Council checks of completed homes.

“The role of Council officials would simply become one of assuring new home sites are suitable in line with district planning and record keeping.

“Changes to the Building Act through Government legislation and discussions with the insurance industry are required to introduce such a system. But in view of the costs, disruption and home owner frustration resulting from the weaknesses in the current process such action is urgently needed.”

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