THE CONSUMER FIGHTBACK: NEW REFURBISHMENT POLICIES FOR NEW ZEALAND RESIDENTIAL BUIILDINGS
Authors: Murphy, Chris
All builders in New Zealand doing certain restricted building work are now required to be licensed. The passing of the Building Amendment Bill No. 3 in March 2012 enshrines this requirement into the Building Act 2004. The licensing of building practitioners marks a significant retreat from the strong pioneering tradition of self-help building that historically has been a significant element in small-scale construction within New Zealand. This paper will provide a brief history of the controversy surrounding building under-performance. It will examine the role proposed for the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and the role LBP’s will play within the building industry. Submissions on the merits of the scheme are examined, evaluated and compared to an industry survey completed six months after the scheme’s introduction. The paper supports the view that the transfer of responsibility for certification from local council to LPB runs the risk of failure unless there are effective legislative and educational support systems in place to support the practitioners in their new role.