Builders, tradespeople and designers

If you work in the building industry, you will know the law around building has changed as a result of the introduction of the Building Act 2004. The Act aims to improve control of and encourage better practices in design and construction.

  • There are now mandatory warranties to protect consumers, which are implied in all building contracts for residential work.
  • There are changes to building consents and inspection processes, which mainly took effect on 31 March 2005.
  • A national licensing system for building designers, site supervisors and some specialist tradespeople is also being introduced.
  • From March 2012, Restricted Building Work is introduced. This means certain design and building work must be carried out or supervised by licensed building practitioners.

Though a lot is changing, the basic processes you need to go through on a building project are staying the same. You still need to get a building consent and have the work signed off, and the Building Code is still performance-based.

The information in this section sets out the main changes, particularly for residential or straightforward building projects.

Building Code and Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods

All new building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code. To help people comply, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) publishes Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, which are available for free as a PDF from this site, or from Vicbooks in multiple formats: [External website].

Immediate changes to seismicity and foundation details for Christchurch

MBIE has made changes to the Building Code documents for Structure, to increase the seismic hazard factor for Christchurch and to require stronger foundations for buildings.

Weathertightness and treated timber

We also publish guidance for designers and builders on how to ensure weathertightness , including treated timber requirements.

Grade 500E Reinforcing Steel

Grade 500E reinforcing steel was introduced to the NZ market with the publication of AS/NZS 4671 in 2001, effectively replacing Grade 430.

More information

It’s also useful to be aware of developments in basic structural engineering practice that may be relevant to your work, and building-related events and education.

You, or your customers, can also find useful information on a range of building-related topics on the ConsumerBuild website: [External website].