Building changes aim to protect consumer - minister

Updated at 6:29 pm on 26 February 2010

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says proposed changes to the Building Act aim to protect consumer rights and increase standards.

The Government is calling for comment on a discussion document issued on Friday that includes a guarantee regime.

The guarantee or warranty would have a surety holder behind it, so if something goes wrong a claim can be made against the relevant party.

Mr Williamson told Checkpoint he does not think there will be any problems getting claims approved by insurers, and just like most insurance, it will be very clear what is covered and how it is covered.

In most cases overseas, he says the premium for good cover is about 1% of total building costs.

Mr Williamson says consumers will end up footing the bill, but he is confident that can be offset by other changes which will reduce bureaucracy and compliance costs.

The premium for that cover could add about 1% to the cost of building a new home.

Mr Williamson says consumers will end up footing the bill, but is confident that can be offset by other changes which will reduce bureaucracy and compliance costs.

Consumer New Zealand says proposed changes to the act will provide some peace of mind for people getting a home built.

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