RMBF says the devil is in the detail

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The Registered Master Builders Federation says the devil will be in the operating detail that will be developed over the next few months regarding the Cabinet’s decisions on the review of the Building Act.

Minister for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson says the review will look to reduce compliance costs, identify accountabilities, provide better information for the consumer, exempt some minor work from requiring a building consent and look to improving efficiencies in the building consent system by introducing stepped consenting and centralised processing.

RMBF chief executive Warwick Quinn says the RMBF is pleased that the decisions concentrated on addressing those areas that were identified and included in the original Terms of Reference for the review.

Mr Quinn says it is pleasing the Government is looking to address the big ticket items and will undertake further work on liability. However, the success of the changes will be in how they are implemented and in the operating detail.

“We will have to wait and see the fine print on how this will work in practice. The changes are well overdue but are unlikely to have an immediate impact on low housing affordability and high compliance costs, though will help going forward”.

Mr Quinn believes the long-term success of any improvements hinges on the capability of the sector which needs to be built up over time to really maximise the changes announced.

“To move to self certification of building work or risk-based fast-tracking of building consents with few inspections, relies on the capability within the construction industry. This will take time to develop so we are unlikely to see a significant immediate reduction in cost and time until capability is addressed.”

He says the RMBF is pleased the Government has laid the foundation for this to occur, and is looking forward to working with it over the coming months on the finer details.