The Building Amendment Act 2013 was passed by Parliament on 28 November 2013. It is the result of a comprehensive review into the Building Act 2004.

This Amendment Act is part of a package of changes which introduce new measures to improve the building and construction sector, ensuring it that delivers good quality, affordable homes and buildings and contributes to a prosperous economy.

Amendments which take immediate effect include:

  • The type of work that does not require a building consent has changed
  • Higher penalties for doing building work without the appropriate consents now apply
  • A number of terms and definitions have been changed
  • Councils have increased authority to restrict entry to buildings that may be near to buildings that are dangerous
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has more power to hold building consent authorities to account
  • The way dams are defined and measured has changed.

More information about Immediate effects of the amendment act [PDF 628 KB, 5 pages].

In mid-2014 other changes will take effect, these include:

Changes to the dam safety scheme

  • Changes have been made to improve the efficiency of the dam safety scheme. These will take practical effect when the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations are amended and come into force in mid-2014.

New consumer protection measures

  • Written contracts for building work over a certain value will be mandatory.
  • Building contractors will be required to disclose certain information to consumers.
  • New general remedies for breaches of implied warranties will apply.
  • A 12 month defect repair period will apply; a building contractor will be required to remedy any defects notified by the consumer without question.