Have your say on three MBIE consultations on Building Act reforms
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is asking for feedback on the Licensed Building Practitioners scheme, proposals to regulate engineers and proposals to support new building laws.
The reforms aim to make the building system more efficient, improve the quality of building work, ensure fairer outcomes if things go wrong, and improve the regulation of engineers.
John Sneyd, the Accord's Regulatory Environment workstream co-lead and General Manager of MBIE's Building System Performance branch, says it's important that all sector voices are heard as part of these consultations.
"The building law reforms will support the Accord's shared goals of increasing productivity, raising capability, improving resilience, and restoring sector confidence, pride and reputation," John says.
"We need to make sure that the regulatory environment complements our people and practices so that we can enable a more productive and sustainable sector that is able to deliver on the pipeline of projects that New Zealand needs."
Proposals to support new building laws
The government is reviewing building products and building methods as part of the Building Amendment Bill to establish systems and processes to speed up consenting for new and innovative ways of building.
MBIE is now consulting on proposals for regulations to support the Bill, which will create:
- New product information requirements, to make sure basic information about building products is available to users
- A new voluntary modular component manufacturer scheme, to make consenting more efficient for some manufacturers of homes and modular building components that are built off-site
- A strengthened CodeMark scheme, to build confidence in the scheme and to provide confidence that innovative building products and methods comply with the Building Code.
"Our current building regulations are suited to traditional methods of building and we are looking at how we make changes to make the most of new and innovative building products and methods," says John Sneyd.
"We are asking for feedback from across the sector on what should be included in the detail of these new and improved schemes," John says.
The Licensed Building Practitioners scheme
As part of a wider review into occupational regulation, MBIE is seeking feedback from Licensed Building Practitioners and those who work with them on possible issues in the following key areas of the LBP scheme:
- Supervision – is supervision is working as originally intended and are there any improvements MBIE can make?
- Licence classes – do the current licence classes reflect what needs to be regulated in the building industry? Does the current class structure need changing to recognise experience?
- Competency requirements – should the competencies for entry into the scheme be lifted, should there be more emphasis on formal education and training and how well are the assessment and skills maintenance processes working?
"Your feedback will help MBIE strengthen the scheme – a stronger LBP scheme means builders and designers have the right skills, knowledge, and experience to do quality work and increase consumer confidence in the scheme," John Sneyd says.
"We want to ensure New Zealanders are confident in building professionals and tradespeople and their work."
Regulating the engineering profession
MBIE is also consulting on options to improve the public's confidence in the engineering profession by ensuring engineers operating in New Zealand are competent, behave ethically, and can be held to account.
The proposal being consulted on is to establish:
- a new registration scheme for all engineers, to ensure a base level of professionalism
- a new licensing regime, to regulate who can carry out or supervise engineering work in specified practice fields that have a high risk of harm to the public
- a new regulator to oversee the registration and licensing process, and investigate complaints.
"While the majority of engineering professionals in New Zealand are skilled and highly professional, the Government wants to address the existing gaps in the system for regulating the engineering profession," John Sneyd says.
"We want to ensure that the options we are proposing are workable, add value, and minimise costs to the profession."