The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has recently refreshed the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) handbook, previously known as Understanding the Regulatory Environment.
The handbook is primarily a resource for building practitioners during the LBP application process, to help them understand the regulatory environment LBPs operate in.
However, it is a valuable tool for all LBPs as an easy-to-understand update on the wider building and construction system.
What the handbook covers
Part one sets out general information about the LBP scheme. This section outlines the definitions of restricted building work and supervision.
It also provides information about the minimum standard of licensing, LBP licence classes, skills maintenance and working within the builder’s competence.
Part two looks at the roles and responsibilities of LBPs, home owners, registered and non-registered trades, and building consent authorities. This is worth checking out for builders who engage with clients and other practitioners.
Part three outlines the contractual relationship between contractors and clients. It includes information about obligations — for example, a contractor must provide a residential client with a written contract and other documentation if the project costs $30,000 or more (including GST), or if a client requests it.
Part four sets out rights and responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Part five outlines the building regulatory framework, including relevant information under the Building Act 2004, the NZ Building Code, and relevant building standards.
Part six describes the building and resource consent process, including applying for a building consent, variation of a building consent, inspections, obtaining a code compliance certificate, and the penalties for building without a consent where one was required.
This section will be useful for builders who regularly advise clients about the consent process.
How the handbook can help
The handbook can provide anyone with a great summary of the building system, and how their role fits within it. It is a great tool for understanding and meeting obligations.
The handbook includes self-assessment questions that summarise content, and that allow the reader to test their knowledge.
Rules do change over time, and it is the builder’s responsibility to keep up to date with those changes.
Accessing the handbook and other important information
The handbook can be found and downloaded on the LBP web site. Builders can also keep up to date by subscribing to LBP updates on the LBP web site.
Builders can receive the latest versions of technical documents and guidance on the Building Performance web site.
Builders can also visit the Building Performance web site to subscribe to Codewords and other updates.