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Thread: A bit OTT

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default A bit OTT

    Plans revealed for DIY crackdown
    Wednesday, 12 September 2007

    Homeowners may have to apply for a building consent to replace failed putty in a window under proposed amendments to the Building Act, the Institute of Professional Engineers (Ipenz) told MPs today.

    The institute's spokesman Cameron Smart told Parliament's social services committee, which is considering the Building Amendment Bill, that several aspects needed to be tightened to make it clear what was covered.

    The bill aims to clarify aspects of the 2004 Building Act, including what work can be done by "do it yourself" builders.

    But Mr Smart said the bill failed to clarify some areas, and in some parts actually introduced more uncertainty.

    One example was replacing "like" components in an existing house.

    Under existing law replacing "like" with "like" did not require a building consent.

    However in the proposed new law, replacing any component that failed within five years required a building consent.

    National MP asked Mr Smart whether that meant someone would need to apply for a consent to replace the putty around a window.

    Mr Smart said in his reading it would.

    Wellington City Council building group manager Katharine Wheeler told NZPA after the committee the provision was there so councils knew if particular materials were consistently failing.

    But Mr Smart said the bill needed to set a threshold so people did not have to apply for consents for minor matters.

    Ipenz and Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) both also called for more clarity around what kinds of work would be restricted under the law to licensed building practitioners.

    The bill said they should only carry out minor work.

    But LGNZ chief executive Eugene Bowen said it was not clear exactly what that was or how much leeway councils had to give exemptions.

    LGNZ favoured a clear consistent regime with little allowance for exemptions, which could undermine the intent of the law.

    Mr Smart said the bill needed to state the boundary between minor work - presumably work that was not structural - and significant work.

    - NZPA

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