2015 will bring challenges — and opportunities

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At the time of writing, this is week three in my new role as chief executive, and I am really pleased to be on board with Registered Master Builders.

Over the years I have had a lot to do with Registered Master Builders in various ways, and have always had the highest regard for what the organisation and members deliver. 

So it is a pleasure to be part of the team and it was a great way to start off with attendance at the House of the Year gala dinner in Auckland. A number of people have said it is the best House of the Year event they have ever attended.

I want to acknowledge the hard work put in by the judges and all those associated with organising the competition. A special mention goes to Bev McKay for the tremendous effort in putting it all together.

We are looking forward to providing some new innovations for next year that will help members get even more value from entering.

Over these past three weeks it’s been apparent that there are a number of challenges, but also opportunities for the organisation right now.

President John Macdonald, Board chairman Anthony Leighs and I recently met with Minister for Building and Housing, Dr Nick Smith. It is probably no coincidence that he is also Minister for the Environment.

As such, he combines oversight of the Building Act and the Resource Management Act, and also looks after legislation on residential tenancies.

This should result in a more co-ordinated approach across the three areas.

As the Government develops its thoughts around trying to improve areas such as housing affordability, we will need to be ready to respond so that we understand the implications for the industry and what it means for your businesses.

The immediate focus is on changes to the Building Act and requirements for written contracts for amounts over $30,000, as well as increased disclosure requirements. The release of government regulation detail has been slower than we would have hoped.

However, we have been working with BRANZ on its recent series of seminars, and we would also remind our members that Registered Master Builders has a range of standard contracts available that are a good starting point.

I hope everyone takes the opportunity to have a relaxing and enjoyable break over Christmas and New Year. Be safe, and I look forward to getting around the country to meet as many of the branch executives and members as possible in 2015.

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