Media releases and other news updates.
Latest building and housing trends
28 December 2007: The latest report published by the Department summarising building and housing trends and performance. It covers the period July to September 2007. Read the July - September 2007 Building and Housing Trends »
Another boost for solar water heating
15 November 2007: The launch today of a new technical document will smooth Building Code compliance for solar water heaters.
The Department of Building and Housing has published a new compliance document which clarifies what homeowners need to do to have a solar water heating system approved by their local council.
From December 1, the compliance document will be effective for most solar water heating system installations. Read more about another boost for solar water heating »
Licensing brings new era for building industry
1 November 2007: Applications now open for the first seven licenses in the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme. Read the Minister's news release about the launch of the new licensing scheme
Minister Cosgrove speech to mark the official launch of the Licensed Builders Practitioner scheme
1 November 2007: Licensing brings consumers protection and recognises the skilled, competent professionals in the building sector. Read the Minister's speech marking the launch of the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme
Your Guide to Smarter Insulation
30 October 2007: Following on from the success of 'Your Guide to a Smarter Home' promoting and advising on the wiser use of household energy, the Department has released a new booklet called ‘Your Guide to Smarter Insulation’. This outlines the new insulation requirements and the technical details to assist consumers, builders, designers and others who are building or renovating.
New homes will now be warmer and cheaper to run
30 October 2007: New requirements under the Building Code to better insulate new homes kick off from tomorrow. Read the Minister's news release about new homes being warmer and cheaper to run in the future
Investing in New Zealand’s housing future
21 October 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove's speech to the New Zealand Property Investors Federation Annual Conference. Read the Minister's speech on New Zealand's housing future
Tenancy Tribunal orders online
17 October 2007: A new government website is publishing Tenancy Tribunal orders online to help make information for landlords and tenants quick and easy to access so they can make better informed decisions before entering into a tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Tribunal orders are available at Tenancy Tribunal orders online
Only orders from February 2007 can be accessed and will stay on the website for 36 months after the order is made. Not all orders will be publicly available due to legal or technical reasons.
Licensed Building Practitioner Workshops
17 October 2007: The Department of Building and Housing will be hosting a series of workshops around the country, starting from 25 October, to explain the application process for the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme. These will run until the end of November.
The schedule of events is on the Department website. Further events are planned for the New Year, and the schedule will be updated with information on these as it is confirmed.
Please note: these events are for practitioners who are planning on becoming licensed and know which licence class they want to apply for. Further information on these points can be found in the Is Licensing for Me? publication »
Is Licensing for Me? and Understanding the Building Categories
2 October 2007: New guidance material for building professionals who may wish to become licensed is available. If you are a:
- site supervisor
- construction manager
the new brochures explain occupational licensing in detail and may help you to decide whether to apply to be licensed and which licence or licences to apply for. Understanding the Building Categories provides additional information for Design 1, 2 and 3 and Site 1 licence applicants. Read the new licensing brochures »
Latest building and housing trends
28 September 2007: The latest report published by the Department summarising building and housing trends and performance. It covers the period April to June 2007. Read the April - June 2007 Building and Housing Trends »
Sustaining a smaller environmental footprint and Optimising the Regulatory Environment
21 September 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove's speeches at the Construction Leaders Forum 2007 in Auckland and to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Asia Pacific International Conference.
Central South Island Apprentice of the Year regional awards
18 September 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove's speech at the Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year regional awards in Christchurch.
Leaky home claimants can seek general damages
22 August 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove says that leaky homes claimants can now be certain that the Weathertight Homes Tribunal and WHRS adjudicators are able to award general damages, including those for mental distress or anxiety.
Councils to be given more time to meet higher building consenting standards
7 August 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove plans to give local authorities more time in which to become accredited and registered as building consent authorities (BCAs), in order to assist those few councils that are finding it a challenge to meet the government’s new building consenting standards.
Cosgrove explores radical new thinking on building design for New Zealand
5 August 2007: A world-first proposal to require assessment of the overall carbon cost of producing, maintaining and using new buildings is the centrepiece of a new discussion document released today by Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove.
Rules announced for building sector licensing
30 July 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove today announced the rules for the licensing of building practitioners – a new regime aimed at raising building quality standards and ensuring that people working in the sector are competent and accountable.
Mr Cosgrove was speaking at a ceremony in Wellington today to mark the completion of formal rules for the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme that starts being rolled out, initially on a voluntary basis, from 1 November this year.
Government fine-tunes building legislation
18 July 2007: Legislation governing the New Zealand building sector is to be fine-tuned to support the ongoing government reforms in this area, said Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove today as he introduced the Building Amendment Bill 2007 to Parliament.
Mr Cosgrove said the Bill makes minor changes to the Building Act 2004.
Latest building and housing trends
5 July 2007: The latest report published by the Department summarising building and housing trends and performance. It covers the period January to March 2007. Read the January - March 2007 Building and Housing Trends »
New Smarter Homes website goes live
21 June 2007: Minister Cosgrove welcomes new website designed to help Kiwi homes to be warm, healthy and energy efficient. Read the Minister's announcement about the Smarter Homes website
Winter a reminder of the need to ensure a weathertight home
With winter here, people buying, building or renovating a home are encouraged to follow basic steps to make sure their property is weathertight.
A new era for Retirement Villages; the implementation of the Retirement Villages Act
29 May 2007: Minister Cosgrove's speech to the Retirement Villages Association conference.
Added certainty for leaky home claimants
22 May 2007: Bill introduced to Parliament to clarify that leaky home claimants can be awarded general damages in settlements.
Minister urges Colleen Dicks to involve Law Society over massive legal bills
3 May 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove says he is deeply concerned for leaky homes victim Colleen Dicks who is reportedly facing huge bills from lawyers and consultants in the wake of her successful court settlement.
Biggest energy efficiency steps in 30 years
3 May 2007: New insulation requirements and moves to make it easier and cheaper to install solar water heating systems are addressed in changes to building rules.
Electrical Worker’s Practising Licences Due for Renewal
3 May 2007: Practising Licences are due to expire on the 30th of June 2007, renew your practising license online today to avoid expiry.
Simply follow the 10 easy steps to renew your Practising Licence today.
What will I need before renewing?
- A Credit Card (we accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Diners)
- Your File Key (This is your online password, if you have misplaced yours simply call (0800)66-1000 to be issued with a new File Key)
10 Easy Steps to Renew Your Practising Licence
- Go to http://www.ewr.govt.nz
- From the left hand menu select “Electrical Workers Register” » “EW Services” » “Practising Licence Application”
- Carry out a quick search to retrieve your file, simply enter at least the first three characters of your surname into the “Quick Search” box in the lower half of the screen then double click your file from the results listed
- Enter your File Key then click “Continue”. Note the File Key is case sensitive
- Update your contact details and/or safety training details if necessary
- Click the radio button next to “I do require a practising licence at this time”
- Click the check box to indicate you have undertaken prescribed electrical work since 1989
- Click “Continue”, check the details displayed are correct then click “Continue” again
- The payment screen will now be displayed, enter your credit card details and submit them, wait until you receive the payment confirmation screen.
- Your practising licence has now been renewed – You will receive your practising licence in the mail within 10 working days
Latest building and housing trends
27 April 2007: The latest report published by the Department summarising building and housing trends and performance. It covers the period October to December 2006. »
Kiwi DIY tradition protected under licensing
27 April 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove today outlined a proposal to ensure the Kiwi Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tradition will be protected when occupational licensing is introduced in the building sector on a voluntary basis from this November. Read Minister Cosgrove's announcement about protecting the Kiwi DIY tradition
Building on Solid Foundations
27 April 2007: Minister Cosgrove's speech to the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand 9th Annual Conference. Read Minister Cosgrove's speech to the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand
Further step towards reform of building sector
20 April 2007: Consultation opens on the registration standards for Building Consent Authorities.
Meeting the Challenges of Sector Reform
2 April 2007: Minister Cosgrove's speech to the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand (BOINZ) Annual Conference. Read the Minister's speech to the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand
Transition to new Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act
1 April 2007: On 1 April 2007, the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 (the WHRS Act) came into force. The new WHRS Act makes changes to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the service and deliver better outcomes for owners of leaky homes.
The purpose of the WHRS Act is to provide speedy, flexible and cost-effective procedures for resolving leaky home disputes as an alternative to the courts.
The WHRS Act is administered by two government agencies.
- Weathertight Services at the Department of Building and Housing receives claim applications and provides assessment, information, guidance and mediation services.
- The Weathertight Homes Tribunal supported by the Ministry of Justice, is a judicially independent Tribunal that provides adjudication for claims.
These changes are reflected in the weathertightness section of our website.
- All references to “the WHRS Act” now relate to the WHRS Act 2006 rather than the WHRS Act 2002.
- Case managers have a different role and are now referred to as claims advisors or settlement advisors depending on which part of the process they handle.
- Adjudications are now handled by the Weathertight Homes Tribunal supported by the Ministry of Justice.
- Our contact details have changed.
Refer to the section on transition to find out how the new WHRS Act will affect existing claims.
Performance by Design? Can We Predict It?
31 March 2007: Minister Cosgrove's speech to the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering National Conference. Read the Minister's speech to the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering
Consultation on proposed variation to Retirement Villages Code of Practice
29 March 2007: The Retirement Commissioner is seeking written submissions on a proposed variation to the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2006. The proposed variation is to clause 49.1(e), which relates to refurbishment and fair wear and tear. Also proposed are some minor editorial amendments to some other clauses. The proposed variation and background information are available from the Retirement Commission’s website www.retirement.org.nz . Submissions close on Wednesday 9 May 2007.
Owners of leaky homes to benefit from reforms
28 March 2007: Owners of leaky homes will get a better deal when a range of new reforms comes into force next week, Ministers Chris Carter, Rick Barker and Clayton Cosgrove said today. Read more about the benefits from the reforms
Assessment Agent appointed for Licensed Building Practitioner scheme
16 March 2007: A Lower Hutt-based company, Assessment Systems Limited (ASL), has been selected by the Department of Building and Housing to be its assessment agent for the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme. ASL is part of a group of companies that specialises in regulatory assessment in New Zealand and Australia. Read more about the appointment »
Builders breakfasts focus on licensing
8 March 2007: Following similar successful events last year, several leading building suppliers have joined forces with the Department of Building and Housing to host a series of free builders’ breakfast sessions over the next couple of months.
Building a Solid Future – speech to the Concrete and Cement Association Annual Planning Day
1 March 2007: Read the Minister's speech to the Concrete and Cement Association
Lower value leaky home claims to be fast-tracked
23 February 2007: Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove today announced another key step in getting better outcomes for those affected by leaky homes, with the setting of a $20,000 ceiling for fast tracked Weathertight Homes Resolution Service claims.
Raising the bar in building consents processing
21 February 2007: The next steps by Government to help local authorities gear up for building consent accreditation.
Feedback sought on building sector licensing rules
19 February 2007: Minister welcomes feedback from the building sector on the first of the occupational licenses to be introduced.
Effective participation in policy making processes
15 February 2007: Building and Construction Minister's speech to the New Zealand Centre for Advanced Engineering stakeholder meeting.
Cosgrove happy to meet Auckland Mayors
12 February 2007: In response to Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey's request today, Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove said he is happy to attend a meeting of the Auckland Mayoral Forum to discuss the leaky buildings issue.
"I have met with all the Auckland Mayors individually in the past and am happy to meet with them again," Mr Cosgrove said.
Helping homeowners make informed choices
12 February 2007: Joint statement from the Minister for Building and Construction, and Consumers' Institute Chief Executive David Russell
Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove and Consumers’ Institute Chief Executive David Russell today launched the enhanced ConsumerBuild website, aimed at improving New Zealanders' understanding about building, buying, renovating and maintaining their homes.
The official launch was held at 3pm today at an Auckland East Tamaki show home that demonstrates up-to-date energy efficient and weathertightness construction features.
Mr Cosgrove said the show home is an example of the many practical, easy-to-understand tips offered for Kiwi homeowners on the enhanced site – www.consumerbuild.org.nz
Guide to applying for a building consent (simple residential buildings)
7 February 2007: Guidance is now available from the Department of Building and Housing called Applying for a building consent. It explains the issues to consider when applying for a building consent, and describes the minimum documentation that should be supplied with an application to demonstrate compliance with relevant clauses of the Building Code.
As such, it will be useful to building consent applicants – designers, builders, project managers and developers – as well as members of the construction industry, including product manufacturers, sub-contractors and technical service providers. Complete with sample drawings of site plans, foundation plans, floor plans, elevations, sections, and construction details, plus a design summary check sheet, this booklet is a comprehensive guide to the building consent process. Read more about the Guide to applying for a building consent »