The Kāpiti Coast District Council hosts Minister to discuss building reform

(left to right, front:) Minister for Building and Construction the Hon Jenny Salesa, Group Manager Regulatory Services Natasha Tod, Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell, Building Inspections team leader Michelle Salmon, (left to right, back:) Leon Smith Building Approval team leader, and Katharine Wheeler Building Team Manager.

(left to right, front:) Minister for Building and Construction the Hon Jenny Salesa, Group Manager Regulatory Services Natasha Tod, Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell, Building Inspections team leader Michelle Salmon, (left to right, back:) Leon Smith Building Approval team leader, and Katharine Wheeler Building Team Manager.

The Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister for Building and Construction, met with Kāpiti Coast District Council Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell and the Council Building Team early this week to discuss their submission to MBIE’s consultation around proposed building system legislative reform. Minister Salesa said that MBIE received nearly 500 submissions during the consultation.  

Mr Maxwell said that the Council has conservative forecasts anticipating the Kāpiti Coast’s population to reach 63,685 people by 2043, but that the significant infrastructure investments in the district – especially the expressways – are likely to turbo-boost the area’s growth well beyond those forecasts.  

“To meet the anticipated influx, we know that the time is now for getting our ducks in a row. Ensuring healthy, safe and durable houses in our district is paramount for us and we support changes to the existing legislation that will make this goal a reality.” 

Building Team Manager Katharine Wheeler was pleased to have the opportunity to speak directly to the Minister about issues specific to the Kāpiti Coast, supporting points made in the Council submission. 

“We know that the buildings here in our district are not just houses, but people’s homes. The Building Act’s proposals to strengthen the regulation of building products and methods will help make homes healthy, safe and sustainable, and contribute to a more resilient community.   

“The government’s proposals seek to improve the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme for designers and builders and overhaul engineer certification.  We are optimistic the changes will mean better quality building work and reduced risks for homeowners.” 

Mr Maxwell said that Council continues to be concerned about the issue of joint and several liability.

“While we all agree that the protection of home owners is the priority, it is a huge impost on ratepayers when we as councils are often the last person standing.”  

Mr Maxwell said that the meeting with the Minister was constructive.  

“We appreciate Minister Salesa taking the time to meet with us. We were heartened by the Minister’s real understanding of the issues and her expectation of delivering improvements that will benefit us all.” 

It is anticipated that the government will announce its decisions around the consultation by the end of the year, and legislative changes will follow.  

To read the Council’s full building system legislative reform submission, see https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/your-council/planning/submissions/

Ends

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