Government announces review of the building consent system

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Housing Minister, Hon Dr Megan Woods, has announced an end-to-end review of the building consent system.

The aim of this review is to modernise the building consent system to respond to increasing demand and to reflect changes in the building and construction sector since the system was established in 1991.

As the first step in this review, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released a discussion document. This document seeks feedback from the public on the role of government and third parties, such as builders, designers and architects, in the building consent system; the desirable outcomes from the system; and an initial assessment of the key issues that are barriers to achieving those outcomes.

The public can make submissions on this discussion document until 5pm on 4 September 2022.

Alongside the discussion document, a policy position statement on risk, liability and insurance in the building sector has been released. MBIE is not consulting on this policy position statement.

It is intended to provide additional background and clarity on the Government’s position on the risk, liability and insurance settings for the building and construction industry which may assist the public in making submissions on the building consent system review.

The Government has made it clear that, whilst the review will closely examine how risk is managed and allocated within the building system, it will not be revisiting the current joint and several liability rule, which applies where multiple parties have been found negligent and responsible for the same loss.

A copy of the discussion document, policy position statement, and information on how to make a submission can be found on MBIE's website

Next steps

Following this consultation, MBIE will analyse the submissions received, identify the key issues and develop potential options for improvements to the building consent system. There will be a further opportunity for the public to make submissions on a new or revised building consent system in 2023.

If you are involved in any way with the building consent system and would like assistance with making a submission or to discuss how this review may affect you, please contact a member of our Construction & Projects team.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

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