Building law changes in 2020

The first amendments that will be made in 2020 have been unveiled.

The Government plans to introduce a Bill into Parliament in the first part of next year and hopes to get it passed by mid-year.

Labelled Bill 1, it will make consenting easier and more efficient, especially for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), and ensure building product information is clear and available. 

These decisions come hot on the heels of the latest National Construction Pipeline Report, which shows continued strong activity through to 2024.

The following changes are on the drawing board first-up:

  • Building product manufacturers and suppliers will be required to provide plain English descriptions about how their products should be installed and maintained. They must provide evidence for claims they make about product performance.

  • A new nationwide certification/consenting process will be introduced for prefab houses. For manufacturers who comply, only the location where a prefab home is installed will require a consent, avoiding potential duplication. The number of required inspections is likely to fall.

  • The product certification scheme CodeMark will be strengthened

  • The Building Levy will drop from $2.01 to $1.75 (including GST) per $1,000 of consented building work above a threshold of $20,444 (including GST).

  • The Government is increasing penalties for breaches of the Building Act – in some cases by more than ten times – and will set higher penalties for companies than individuals. The timeframe for filing charges will be extended from 6 to 12 months.

  • Notifications under the Building Act will be made online and no longer be published in newspapers.

 You can get more information at the Government's Building Performance website.

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