Proposed Building Act changes a great start, but more to be done

Earlier this year, MBIE proposed major changes to New Zealand’s building laws through its ‘Building System Legislative Reform – Discussion Paper’. The reforms sought to make amendments to the following areas:

  1. Building products and methods
  2. Occupational regulation
  3. Risk and liability
  4. Building levy
  5. Offences, penalties and public notification. 

Property Council’s submission supported the overall intent of the reforms, although suggested that the reforms did not go far enough. For the property sector to be effective, it needs a regulatory system that works holistically and in unison. It needs to:

  • Manages risk and liability effectively,
  • Promotes innovation of new products and methods; and
  • Effectively enforce the provisions.

As part of Property Council’s process to form our submission we established a volunteer member working group who provided feedback on MBIEs proposed changes and helped establish Property Council’s position and feedback to MBIE. A huge thank you to the named volunteers below for giving up their valuable time and providing feedback on the most significant reforms since the Building Act was introduced in 2004. 
Our member volunteers were:

  • Aaron Simperingham, HousingNZ    
  • Alistair Snow, Harrison Grierson
  • Craig Stephens and Peter Yendall, Goodman    
  • Ed Stubenitsky & Grant Boniface, Fletcher Living
  • Hugh Evans, Opus    
  • Greg Tolley, Kiwi Property
  • James Pearse, Woods Bagot    
  • James Jackson, Ngāi Tahu
  • John Duthie, Tattico    
  • James Powers, Engineers
  • Kristen Neri, Taylors    
  • Jonathan Aquilina, Mccaw Lewis Lawyers
  • Matt Person, Herriot Melhuish    
  • Mark Welch, Jennian
  • Peter Faulkner, Pukero Oruwhata    
  • Matthew Wickham, HLC
  • Sarah Fields, Otakaro Ltd    
  • Ralph Titmuss, RPC
  • Tanya Wood, Duncan Cotterill

We believe that utilising industry-wide representation is important. That is why our CEO, Leonie Freeman is part of the Construction Sector Accord and Auckland Council Mayoral Housing Taskforce which aims to provide feedback and input into wider system reform. We will continue to be a part of industry-wide groups in supporting building system reform to achieve a more efficient and effective system.  


Author | Katherine Wilson

With a law and arts degree from Otago University, coupled with five years’ experience as a policy analyst and policy advisor at Auckland Council and the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Katherine is perfectly placed to support the advocacy needs of the Wellington and Waikato Branches. Katherine is also supporting our advocacy work at a national level, including working with members on the proposed increase to fire levies.

Katherine was appointed as a Senior Advocacy Advisor in 2017, and since then has proven herself to be hugely dedicated, highly intelligent and committed to ensuring the voice of our members is heard at all levels of governance.

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