Welcome from the Chief Executive of the Department

Department of Building and Housing Chief Executive Katrina Bach outlines the role of the Department.

The Department of Building and Housing was established on 1 November 2004 to ensure a building and housing sector that delivers quality building and housing at reasonable cost, that meets the needs
of New Zealanders.

Over a 14-month period the Department brings together 350 staff and consolidates building- and housing-related regulatory and dispute resolutions functions, previously spread across six government agencies, in a single organisation.

This process began on 1 November with the renaming of the Ministry of Housing to the Department of Building and Housing, including the transfer of staff from the Ministry of Economic Development’s building policy and regulatory team into the Department’s Building and Housing Sector Policy group. They were followed by the staff of the BIA, which ceased to be a Crown Entity on 30 November, when its functions were transferred into the Department and became part of Building Controls. Building Controls is responsible for managing the building control system.

Next year the Department of Internal Affairs’ Weathertight Homes Resolution Service will join the Department, followed by electrical workers registration in 2006.

Consolidating these wide-ranging building and housing functions into a single Department provides for a 'one-stop shop' for regulatory issues and standards related to building and housing, dispute resolution, industry and public education, information and advice and improved compliance and enforcement.

The Building Act will be a key focus of the Department. Over the next five years implementing the measure in the new Building Act will be a time of major change for the building industry.

The new Building Act sets up a framework designed to ensure good decision-making at every stage of the building process. It provides more guidance and clarity about building standards.

This legislation is about strengthening the industry to better deliver the quality of building and construction New Zealand wants.

It is important that the Department works with industry and local authorities to strengthen the industry to achieve this.

The key focus will be on setting clear guidelines and standards, building industry capability and skills, an improved compliance and enforcement regime and better informed consumers.

The establishment of the Department, combined with the implementation of the Building Act, acknowledges and recognises the importance of this sector for New Zealand as a whole.

Welcome to the Department of Building and Housing.

Ktrina Bach

Katrina Bach
Chief Executive
Department of Building and Housing