From Building networks
If you saw somebody using a mobile phone whilst driving their car, or crossing the centre line, would you think it was fair and just that they received an infringement notice? Damn right you would, because it’s against the law and it’s dangerous.
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:
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.
If you’ve ever had to grapple with the building consent, and I suspect if you’re reading my blog you have, you’ll know that the process can often be fraught with frustration. But well known for our No.8 wire mentality, it seems the systems in place haven’t yet deterred us Kiwis. Indeed, as an example, Auckland's housing boom shows no signs of slowing, with a record 23,220 building consent applications received in the last year, up by 12 per cent. The Auckland City Council also completed 175,000 inspections and issued 18,000 Code Compliance Certificates.
But just how many pieces of paper does it take to build a house?
Well in case you are unfamiliar with the process, the steps go something like this.
So as you can see, it takes many pieces of paper to build a house. That’s not a bad thing the process is there for a reason. Like all law, it also has a tendency to change… To stay abreast with any changes to the consent process, visit my website and sign up to BuildNet; it’s your One Stop Shop for building compliance training and advice. Join HERE.