New rules for residential building work

Press Release – Joint Media Statement

New rules will soon be in place for residential building or renovation work and the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s three district councils are urging people to take note of the changes. JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
New rules for residential building work
For immediate release: Thursday 16 February 2012

New rules will soon be in place for residential building or renovation work and the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s three district councils are urging people to take note of the changes.

From 1 March 2012, the Department of Building and Housing’s Restricted Building Work regulations come into effect. This means if you’re applying for a building consent from 1 March 2012, you must make sure that the practitioners you use are correctly licensed to carry out the work.

Earlier this year the Department of Building and Housing launched the ‘Build it Right’ campaign aimed at improving the quality of building in New Zealand and increasing the confidence of consumers. The initiative is intended to improve the productivity, efficiency and accountability of the building sector in New Zealand. The introduction of Restricted Building Work on 1 March 2012 is the first major change under the initiative.

Building consent staff at local councils have been preparing for the changes next month and reviewing their processes to accommodate the new rules.

Whakatāne District Council General Manager Strategy and Planning, David Bewley, says that restricted building work includes any work that is structural or affects the weather-tightness of a building.

“Restricted building work applies to residential construction, alterations and design of houses and small-to-medium sized apartment buildings. It doesn’t apply to any ancillary buildings such garages or garden sheds or to commercial property,” Mr Bewley says.

Licensed building practitioners include designers, carpenters, external plasterers, brick and block layers, foundation specialists and roofers. Registered architects, gas-fitters and plumbers, as well as chartered professional engineers, who are registered with their own professional authorities, are also treated as being licensed.

There are currently 41 registered licensed building practitioners resident in the Whakatane district. The availability of practitioners may have implications for applicants wishing to lodge building consent applications and building owners seeking subsequent inspections.

There are steps that will need to be taken at both the design stage and the construction stage of restricted building work.

Kawerau District Council Manager Regulatory and Planning, Chris Jensen, says that in order to gain consent for restricted building work, design work will need to be carried out or supervised by a design licensed building practitioner, a chartered professional engineer, or a registered architect.

“They will then need to provide the owner with a Certificate of Work memorandum that states who did the design, identifies the restricted work, and certifies that the design complies with the Building Code. The homeowner (or Licensed Building Practitioner) must then provide this to their local council as part of their building consent application,” Mr Jensen says.

Ōpōtiki District Council Planning and Regulatory Manager Barbara Dempsey says restricted building work cannot start until owners have notified their local council of the licensed building practitioner(s) who will be carrying out or supervising the work.

“During construction, as each licensed building practitioner completes their part of the work, they must give the owner a Record of Work memorandum stating that they have carried out or supervised that part of the construction. For example, this may be at the completion of the roof. The homeowner must in turn provide this to their local council as part of their Code Compliance Certificate application,” Mrs Dempsey says.

Homeowners are required to ensure that those they employ to undertake construction or alterations are licensed to do the work required. Fines of up to $20,000 may apply to anyone found to have knowingly employed an unlicensed person to carry out restricted building work. Likewise, unlicensed tradespeople who carry out and/or supervise restricted building work can also be fined.

For a full list of the licensed building practitioners go to www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp or for more information on your rights and obligations under the Building Act 2004 go to www.builditright.govt.nz

ENDS

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