Offences and penalties, building levy and public notification

bslrp offences penalties

Learn about changes to offences and penalties, the building levy and public notification, and what that means for you.

Current state

Offences and penalties

To ensure buildings are safe for New Zealanders, people must comply with the Building Act 2004. To achieve this, the Building Act contains a number of offences for failing to comply with the requirements in the Act. However, the current maximum financial penalties are not deterring people and organisations from poor behaviour or sub-standard work, and they don't cover the new Modern Methods of Construction or the strengthened production certification scheme proposed in the Bill.

The Building Act currently gives a six month timeframe to investigate a potential offence and lay charges. This is considered to be too short given the complexity of undertaking some investigations.

The building levy

The building levy is paid by successful building consent applicants. Currently, the Building Act prescribes what the Chief Executive (CE) of MBIE can use the levy funds for, restricting it to the performance of the CE's functions under the Building Act. This means there are some initiatives of the CE that may benefit levy payers that are unable to be funded from the building levy.

Find out more about the building levy.

Public notification

Currently it is a requirement to carry out public notification in daily newspapers.

What's changing?

This Bill will:

  • ensure all schemes under the Building Act are supported with fair and consistent offences and penalties;
  • increase the maximum penalties for individuals and organisations;
  • widen the use of the building levy to allow MBIE to monitor, oversee and improve the performance of the building sector;
  • extend the timeframe to investigate potential offences and lay a charge to 12 months;
  • update the Building Act's public notification requirements to reflect the increasing use of the Internet to access important information. This means notifications will take place online and in the New Zealand Gazette, but will no longer be published in newspapers.

What this means for you?

Offences and penalties

  • Greater protection for building users with higher maximum penalties for offences against the Building Act, and a longer period to file charges.
  • Higher penalties will deter sub-standard work and poor behaviour, leading to higher quality builds.

The building levy

  • A wider range of ways MBIE can use the building levy funds to monitor, oversee and improve the performance of the building sector.

Public notification

  • Public notification will become more accessible and be available online – recognising the public's changing preferences to how they access information.
  • Public notifications may still be published in newspapers where appropriate - such as the New Zealand Gazette, but this will no longer be a requirement.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: