Even the humble parking ticket issued at a local territorial authority level is there for a reason; by issuing these infringements parking wardens are simply doing their job and trying to keep the streets safe by allowing traffic to flow.
Local councils also have a process with rules and regulations for building works. The Building Act and Regulations exist for a very important reason… Safety! And yet it seems to me that local authorities often more readily issue parking tickets than building infringements.
What draws me to this conclusion? Well I’ve been educating professionals within the building industry, by translating building law for over twenty years now, and during that time I’ve heard a tale or two.
It’s been fourteen years since the Hunn report (commissioned to review the leaky homes crisis) said we had a systemic failure in the building industry; and we need to ask ourselves whether this has changed, or whether there is a new crisis on the horizon. Some of the scenarios I’ve come across lead me to believe the next crisis could stem from:
- Passive fire
- Foundation issues
- Seismic restraints
In New Zealand we are kidding ourselves if we believe that our buildings are one hundred per cent safe, there is plenty of room for improvement! Commercial buildings are built fast with slim margins and contractors have been known to cut corners.
I recently heard of a sprinkler system being installed in a building without consent; it's a major piece of work and I’m astounded that due process wasn’t followed. How do we know it was installed correctly?
This serves as a reminder for the reasons that the rules and processes are in place.
If you have questions about the safety in your building I am available for an independent, neutral opinion, and happy to have a conversation with you.