MBIE technical reviews to focus on pool barriers, EPBs and compliance schedules

Posted: 28 September 2018

MBIE's Building System Assurance team undertakes technical reviews of councils in their role as territorial authorities. The reviews look at whether the right systems, process and resources are in place at each council. This year the scope of these reviews is changing.

Previously MBIE's technical reviews focused on amending compliance schedules that were not captured by the building consent process, and enforcing the building warrant of fitness (BWoF) system via site audits, notices to fix and infringement notices. Non-compliances in relation to compliance schedules still feature as one of the most common findings of building consent authority accreditation assessments. MBIE will continue to review this building control activity as well as the enforcement of the BWoF system, however, it will do so on a reduced scale.

The scope of the 2018/19 technical reviews has been expanded to cover the new legislative requirements for residential pool barriers and earthquake-prone buildings (EPBs) that came into force in 2017 on 1 January and 1 July respectively.

Under section 162D of the Building Act 2004 (the Act), territorial authorities must ensure residential pools are inspected at least every three years to determine if pools have complying barriers.

Section 133AG of the Act requires territorial authorities to identify potentially EPBs within certain timeframes. The deadline for priority buildings within the high seismic risk area is 1 January 2020. This section includes a requirement for territorial authorities to report to MBIE on the progress they have made towards identifying potentially EPBs. Time frames for this reporting requirement vary by seismic risk area:

  • High – annually (reports for 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 were due on 13 August 2018) 
  • Medium – every two years
  • Low – every three years.

Territorial authorities whose districts only include areas of medium and/or low seismic risk areas do not need to report this year. If you require any assistance please contact EPB@mbie.govt.nz.

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: