Last updated: 2 November 2021

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The Building System Law Reform programme is a series of reforms to building laws to lift the efficiency and quality of building work, and provide fairer outcomes if things go wrong.

The Building System Law Reform Programme

A high-performing building and construction sector is crucial to New Zealand's economy, and vital for delivering safe, healthy, and durable buildings for New Zealanders.

The Building System Law Reform programme was established to address the issues in construction that hinder productivity, efficiency, and the delivery of safe, healthy and durable buildings. The programme also supports the Government's broader housing priorities to speed up the supply of housing and create an economy that grows and works for all New Zealanders.

The reforms will make building consenting more efficient and will make it easier and faster to use new and innovative building methods and products, such as off-site and modular component manufacturing.

The programme also aims to give building consent authorities and homeowners greater confidence that the people building homes are making well-informed decisions about building products and methods.

Phase one

On 3 June 2021, the Minister for Building and Construction announced new building laws that aim to support housing supply and affordability by supporting the use of new, innovative and efficient building methods as part of phase one of the reform programme.

The 'Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021' is the first phase of a suite of reforms to building legislation, which introduced mandatory minimum information requirements for building products, enabled the creation of a new voluntary certification scheme for modular component manufacturers, paved the way for a strengthened product certification scheme, and set stronger penalties to promote higher levels of compliance with the building regulatory system.

The changes will support greater opportunity for innovation and economies of scale and give building consent authorities and homeowners greater confidence that the building products being included in building work are fit for purpose, installed correctly, and will perform as expected.

On 1 November 2021, Cabinet agreed on regulatory proposals to support the implementation of these changes.

Phase two

The second phase of reforms aims to lift the performance of all building professionals and tradespeople, and hold accountable those who do not meet the standards set for them, so that people can have more confidence in these professions and their work. The reforms will see practitioners across the building professions and trades operate within their areas and levels of expertise and provide their services with care and skill.

The government has progressed work so far on three occupational groups as part of this programme:

  • engineers
  • plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers
  • Licensed Building Practitioners.

Phase three

The third phase of reforms aims to ensure consumer protection measures are adequately protecting homeowners. MBIE will consider whether changes need to be made to enable homeowners to make informed decisions, improve industry accountability and reduce the risk that homeowners are left exposed when things go wrong.

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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: