19 May 2015

Building Act proposal to aid disaster response

3:53 pm on 19 May 2015

The Building and Housing Minister says proposed changes to the Building Act will make responding to a disaster more efficient and streamlined.

Nick Smith during caucas run 5/5/15

Nick Smith Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Nick Smith said following the Canterbury earthquakes it was clear more robust systems needed to be put in place for an emergency.

The changes he announced today cover the decision to use emergency powers, assessment of buildings and the power to demolish buildings without building or resource consent.

Dr Smith said they would significantly impact on private property rights so getting it right was important.

One proposal is to replace the colour of green placards to white.

Dr Smith said after the Canterbury quakes people assumed a green placard meant a building had no issues and was good to use, when it actually meant the building could be used but should have a further, detailed evaluation.

Public submissions on the proposal close on 25 June.