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Building Act 2004: Your Need-to-know Guide

The staged commencement of the Building Act 2004 began on 30 November 2004. Newsline (PDF 171 KB, 4 pages), which accompanies Codewords, provides the latest information on the implementation of the new Act. Here, we provide an overview of the changes being implemented – and outline opportunities for finding out more about the changes.

The Building Act 2004 is staged to allow time for the supporting regulations to be developed and implemented in consultation with industry, local authorities and consumers.

Measures implemented on 30 November 2004

Most of the measures that came into effect on 30 November related to the regulatory framework of the Act. These included:

  • BIA dissolved, and staff joined Department of Building and Housing
  • responsibility for administration of building legislation transferred to Department
  • Department's powers to develop regulations came into force
  • start date for timeline on Building Consent Authority (BCA) registration, licensing of building practitioners and Building Code review
  • mandatory warranties to protect consumers took effect
  • restrictions to sale of household units by property developers took effect
  • territorial authorities obliged to adopt a policy on dangerous, earthquake-prone or insanitary buildings within 18 months.

Measures to be implemented on 31 March 2005

New measures relating to the building consent and inspection processes come into effect on 31 March 2005. These changes affect:

  • Project Information Memoranda (PIMs)
  • building consents
  • code compliance certificates
  • Compliance Schedules
  • Building Warrants of Fitness
  • Notices to Fix.

The changes to these processes will be explored in depth in future editions of Newsline which accompanies Codewords.

Certificates of Acceptance are also to be introduced to the building consent and inspection process. These can be issued when a building consent was not applied for before the work commenced. They are designed to provide customers with a level of assurance where none would otherwise exist, and can only be issued by territorial authorities. A territorial authority must be satisfied that Building Code standards have been met to the best of their knowledge. Applications could result in a Notice to Fix requiring additional building work to be carried out, or the Certificate of Acceptance could be issued subject to defined limitations. They can be used for work started or consented before 31 March 2005.

Find out more about Certificates of Acceptance in the latest edition of Newsline.

Education opportunities

Significant work has been planned for the first sector. Here, we highlight three major initiatives already under way.

  • The Department will brief industry on the Building Act 2004 through a nationwide seminar series, being held in association with BRANZ Ltd.
  • Separately, the Department is to hold a nationwide series of workshops, designed specifically for building officials.
  • The Department will also be represented at the Building Officials’
    Institute of New Zealand (BOINZ) Annual Conference 2005, which runs from 21-23 March. This will provide an opportunity for building officials and their managers to discuss the new Act and what BCA accreditation and registration means for them.

Further information about the seminars and workshops can be found in our Learning Curve section.

Finding out more

In addition to Newsline, you can visit the recently launched Building Act 2004 website at www.dbh.govt.nz Aimed primarily at the building sector, the site includes news and information about the new Act and its implementation and the review of the Building Code, as well as discussion documents, publications and activities.