Recent government initiatives in the construction sector

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2 June 2020: Changes to Building Consent exemptions

In a move designed to fast-track small residential projects from proposal to construction, the government has increased the size of detached buildings that are exempt from a Building Consent. The previous exemption was for buildings up to 10 square metres in size; this has now been increased to 30 square metres.

Conditions include a requirement for a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) to have reviewed the design of a kitset/prefab building of up to 30 square metres, or that a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) be engaged to supervise design and construction of bespoke buildings of up to 30 square metres. Though there is an exception to the use of either a CPEng or LBP under certain conditions, the guidance of the NZIOB and other construction associations is that suitably qualified contractors and/or design professionals should be engaged for the design and construction of detached buildings in the 10 to 30 square metre range (that now qualify for Building Consent exemption).

View the full summary of the new Building Consent exemption

Further retentions protection announced under the Construction Contracts Act

Last week the Minister of Building and Construction, Hon Jenny Salesa, announced what she described as “common-sense changes to the Construction Contracts Act", to address the two key areas of concern that were highlighted in a recent review of the retentions money regime.

The changes are designed to:

  • Prevent co-mingling of retention monies with the retention holder’s working capital
  • Place a requirement on the holder of retentions to provide clear, regular, and useful information on where and how retention money is held

View the government’s media release on changes to the Construction Contracts Act