About Building Performance

Last updated: 29 September 2017

We want everyone to have safe, healthy, durable homes and buildings, supporting MBIE's goal to grow New Zealand for all.

Our aspirations are echoed in our Māori identity – Hīkina Whakatutuki – which broadly means "lifting to make successful”.

The building sector is crucial to New Zealand’s economy. It contributes more than 6 percent to our gross domestic product (GDP) and employs more than 250,000 people. A well-functioning sector will have a positive effect on our country’s health, economic stability, security and social cohesion.

The building sector is the third largest industry in our economy by business-count. It is characterised by large numbers of small, diverse businesses working to a performance-based building regulatory system that continues to mature.

We aim to make sure everyone involved in building work has the information they need to undertake building work, and can quickly and easily access and understand it. We provide authoritative information and guidelines on building-related regulation, rights and obligations. 

MBIE’s Building Performance role

MBIE is the over-arching regulator of New Zealand’s building system. MBIE's building regulatory system teams provide policy and technical advice on New Zealand’s building system, rules and standards, and implement building legislation and regulations to meet New Zealand’s current and future needs.

Our role is to work with stakeholders to deliver fit-for-purpose, performance-based building regulation that protects the public's safety and property and helps lift the sector’s performance.

We work with a range of people across the building sector to understand what matters to them, and to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities. We do this by providing clear, effective guidelines, information, education and enforcement.

We have a range of statutory responsibilities for building and housing, and administer New Zealand’s building legislation. We also work with other regulators whose legislation has an impact on the building sector.

Our work includes:

  • monitoring and evaluating the overall performance of New Zealand’s building system
  • reviewing and updating building policy, laws and regulations
  • occupational regulation (for example, Licensed Building Practitioners)
  • oversight of the Building Code and setting and developing standards
  • earthquake building-related guidance
  • supporting investigations into building or product failures
  • Weathertight Services
  • determinations and product assurance.

Learn more about Building Performance's role within the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment on the MBIE Corporate website.

Building System Regulatory Strategy

In 2020, MBIE launched its Building System Regulatory Strategy that sets out a vision for the future of building regulation over the next 10 to 15 years. The Strategy focuses on how MBIE, as a building system regulator can achieve a high-performing building regulatory system. 

Learn more about the Building System Regulatory Strategy

Our history

Between 1990 and 2005 the building and housing sector underwent significant change, with increasing demand for good quality housing and growing investment.

The Building Act 1991 introduced a major change to New Zealand’s building controls and included the first national building code.

The Building Act 2004 is now the primary legislation governing New Zealand’s building industry. It provides the framework for our building control system. The Building Code sets the performance standards that all building work must meet.

NZ regulatory framework explains how the system works.

At the same time, the building regulator has evolved. The Building Industry Authority (BIA) was replaced in November 2004 by the Department of Building and Housing (DBH). In July 2012 DBH became part of MBIE, providing the regulator with critical linkages and critical mass across related services, capability and expertise.

MBIE is focused on being a smart, responsive regulator working with the sector to promote more skills and innovation, safety, quality and affordability.

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: