22 Sep 2015

Builders may get to certify own work

1:06 pm on 22 September 2015

The Government is considering allowing builders to sign off their own work in an effort to cut red tape on building work.

Christchurch construction.

Christchurch construction. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett said one of the proposals made to the rules reduction taskforce was to allow certified builders to do that.

Mrs Bennett said she had asked for that matter to be considered to help stop people facing "a whole lot of unnecessary compliance".

She said she understood there would be some nervousness, because many people would point to the problems with leaky homes.

"But actually products have moved on since then. The country's moved on since then and we have to make sure we're getting sensible rules that are necessary and getting rid of the ones that are not."

Mrs Bennett said it was clear from the taskforce's consultation that the Resource Management Act was a big problem for many people and they wanted to see it changed.

Too many rules and regulations were frustrating, particularly when it came to building work.

"For builders or even those who are DIYing, knowing a consistent set of regulations and rules and how local government are interpreting them is part of the problem.

"So we can go back to local government and say, these are the types of things that have come through. This is actually what the regulation or the law says and this is how you should be interpreting it."

While the review has identified what it believed were unnecessary rules, Mrs Bennett said it had also uncovered several myths, including that lolly scrambles had been banned and that people could not use three-step ladders.

Both were untrue.

She said the report outlined what the Government and local authorities could do to make it easier for people.

"Over the next few weeks, ministers will be working with their departments and agencies to progress the quick fixes and what will take a bit longer to tackle."