The building consent system

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released a summary of the feedback it received last year on its review of the building consent system. You can access it here.

The key takeaway from the Building Performance team – ‘the system is not fundamentally broken but there are opportunities for substantial improvement’.

The summary results largely align with the submission Taituarā made and we welcome consensus around: -

  • Removing barriers to product substitution and variation so long as performance against New Zealand conditions, the New Zealand Building Code, and equivalency can be assured
  • Strengthening the roles and responsibilities of participants in the building sector
  • Boosting capability and capacity
  • The potential for self-certification and current constraints – including the building sector’s readiness
  • Re-introducing producer statements
  • Centralised training for building control officers
  • MBIE improving its oversight and stewardship functions.

We anticipate the Government will want to pursue several options – including law changes – that align with its coalition agreements – for example product substitutions, minor variations and remote inspections – in the coming months.

We have therefore let MBIE officials know our view of the quick wins – actions that would streamline the consenting system and improve overall system performance – and how they fit with the Government’s priorities.

We have also emphasised our long-held view that many of the issues the system faces stem from the current liability settings – which need to be addressed urgently – and offered our assistance to progress this to meet local and central government priorities.

BRANZ levy changes

All councils should have received notification that Cabinet has agreed that from 1 July this year, if the value of building work is less than $65,000 including GST, it will be exempt from paying the building levy.

Currently, the building levy rate is $1.75 including GST per $1,000 of building work value. This rate will not be changed.

The changes to the regulations will be confirmed and notified by the Parliamentary Council Office and new Guidance and information for Building Consent Authorities – including information on how to calculate the Building Levy over the transition period.

As at the time of writing (18/03/24) the amended Regulations have not been notified.

If you want to know more, please contact