Building Act reforms

The Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which represents the first of a suite of reforms to the Building Act 2004, was passed by Parliament on 3 June.

The Bill seeks to lift the efficiency and quality of building work, provide fairer outcomes if things go wrong, and support the building sector to shift to new and more effective ways of working. The Bill will help support productivity improvements by lifting efficiency and quality of building work and to improve trust and confidence in the building regulatory system.

The Bill has two parts: the first part amends the Building Act 2004, and the second part makes consequential amendments to other legislation. The changes to the first part are in five categories:

(i) strengthening the existing product certification scheme known as CodeMark;

(ii) creating a new scheme for modern methods of construction;

(iii) better information for building products and methods;

(iv) improved offences and penalties; and

(v) expanding the use of the Building Levy.

A key change that could significantly speed up the building consenting process is a new modular component manufacturer scheme allowing offsite building manufacturers who meet specific requirements to be certified, allowing them to sign off their designs and construction.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is consulting with the sector to develop new regulations to support the modular component manufacturing scheme, CodeMark changes and the new building product information requirements.