The article seems to have sparked interest from a number of other researchers and industry groups who are eager for factual information on what is contributing to the cost increases.
Right now it seems that there are a number of changes to regulations that will impact on the construction industry. In part, this is because of the election cycle where governments try to get any major changes through in the first two years following an election, and not during election year itself.
We have already had changes to contracts and disclosure requirements that came into force on January 1 this year. As a result we have rewritten our standard contracts and templates, and our in-house legal counsel Tim Blake has run a series of presentations at branches around the country.
The feedback from these has been that the work we have done on the new contract is very helpful in knowing what our members need to do to comply. But there are two more significant changes coming up.
Health and Safety
The first is around health and safety requirements. Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to make major changes to responsibility for health and safety in the workplace.
These changes were to come into place by April 1, but have been delayed to give more time to think through the changes. We don’t know when they will come into force but it is likely to be before the end of the year.
The Registered Master Builders Board is aware of the upcoming changes, and is committed to supporting members to understand their obligations and how to meet them. We will be providing further information and support when we know more.
The other significant changes being proposed is to contract retentions. This is complex, and is driven by the collapse of Mainzeal a few years ago, with a number of subcontractors left out of pocket.
While the desire to try to prevent this happening is understandable, we also need to make sure that any changes don’t accidentally end up just adding more cost without fixing the problem.
Our Commercial Working Group will be keeping a close eye on how this issue progresses.