New exemptions to the Building Act announced

by Duffie Osental26 May 2020

The government has announced new exemptions to the Building Act, scrapping the need for consents for low-risk building work for single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres.

In a statement, the government said that the new exemptions are expected to commence at the end of August, after the necessary changes to the Building Act have been made. Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa said she expects the move to save homeowners and builders $18 million in consenting costs each year.

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“These changes will save New Zealanders time and money and mean councils can focus on higher-risk building work, boosting the building and construction sector in the COVID-19 recovery,” said Salesa. “Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres – such as sleep-outs, sheds and greenhouses; carports; awnings; water storage bladders, and others – will now not require a council-approved building consent, which will result in 9,000 fewer consents to process a year.

According to Salesa, some of the new exemptions will utilise the Licensed Builder Practitioners scheme, which “recognises the competence of these building practitioners and allows them to join chartered professional engineers and certifying plumbers in having their own suite of exemptions.”

“Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home, and this Government is finding ways to help build more houses by unclogging the building consent process, making it quicker and more affordable,” said Salesa. “These exemptions are just one part of my broader building system reform programme, which includes Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan, the Construction Skills Action Plan, and Building Law reforms.”

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