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a Bouquet goes to

It is extremely heart warming that I have found a Council who are doing something positive for the Building Industry in their area.
Hamilton City Council have implemented a partnership program which delivers tangible benefits for the industry partners.
Builders and designers who demonstrate a superior level of experience and knowledge as well as I hope a quality assurance system which allows repeatable delivery of the high standard will have less intrusion by Hamilton Council in the Process.
This is Hamilton City Council saying, shows us you are as good as you say you are, and we will take a more back seat position. The Good companies therefore should be able to offer a cheaper outcome for their clients by the lower level of input from Council and therefore a significant lower charge by them.
I have been involved in similar schemes in Nelson and Tasman, but the Council paid only lip service to the program. the onus was on the building official to prove the industry participants did not warrant the easier road and subsequently the schemes fell away and the group home companies, builders and designers all felt aggrieved.
I truly Hope the heart is in the right place for Hamilton and it is not doing what others have done before. If Councils do not want to be a part of the Construction Industry and perform their functions as outlined in the Building Act, they should get out.
Thanks for reading and i will always print good news when I come across it.

Nothing has changed

Prior to 1992, the rules which governed building was more than 70 different Council by laws system. What was allowed in one council was not allowed in another and architects and builders were continually frustrated with the of laws.  Someone had the idea to implement 1 single building code so that there was only 1 set of rules. Unfortunately 1 set of rules has 7 different interpretations by Councils, which is exactly the same situation as the by law system. Councils  have not innovated or improved their performance to offer a single improvement in value or attempt to integrate themselves positively into the greater construction industry.

Nothing has changed because no one is holding the Councils to account. Designers give in to get the consent and builders follow the Plans only to be told by Inspectors it is wrong and have to change it.  Council officials contact the owners to circumvent the designer who actually stands up to the unlawful requests from the bullies. Delays are common at every step of the process whether you in to them or not..

I have heard of Councils stopping the consent and asking for a particular Section Marker  to be used, or windows which were installed in 1995 to be they are designed to an extra high wind zone for a current consent, or they say a Section is wrong and needs to change. (3D software means it is not possible to draw a wrong Section. and it would be if they could accept BIM files and the intelligence to open it and use them. But everything is  pdf and delays.

There is an innate attitude among Building Officers that builders and designers are incompetent and everyone need the Council Builders Officers to keep them honest. New cadets into the industry are told this early on in their training and the myth gets perpetrated forward.  Councils have scared Governments to delay real change would bring efficiency gains in the Building Act to justify their importance. So any chances of the building owners getting real service is non existent.

There is absolutely no chance of things changing. Councils are not part of the building industry, they protecting the ratepayers first and look at the building industry second. They do not offer advice or offer design solution because they do not want the liability. The tell everyone that they know everything to do with the Building Code but have a very warped view heir role in under the Building Act. This attitude means that the is second in their thinking.

Australia has the right thinking. The Councils  issue consents, but private industry does the checking and inspections. Council  is purely a record keeping service. This is where the New Zealand Industry needs to go before it suffers from the cancer that Council thinking is. I have said the industry needs to unite.

Building Inspectors used to have a reputation in the top ten % of careers. Now thefall slgihtly above pedophiles and arsonists. Nick Smith has to open the industry up to private BCAs and get Council out of the picture all together. They do not want the liability that goes with the job and are causing needless delays and costly overruns. Give it to the private enterprise who wants to be there, doing the job and offering real value. And innovation.

Designers can send their Plans to engineers or cladding specialists and who can into it and do directly in the file do their designs. With 2 clicks of the mouse a BIM File is made and is transportable to anyone anywhere who needs view it.

But the vast majority of Councils do not have the expertise or to accept it.  Too much of a cost for the rate payers maybe, the training costs to have someone who can use it may be the reason, but the effect is that they have put themselves outside the industry, outside the governments expectations and are holding the whole industry to ransom.



Good Morning. The New Zealand Construction Industry faces a lot of pressures. It returns the same as the Agriculture Industry but has twice as many participants. It is 30% more expensive to build a house in New Zealand than Australia for no greater quality. The process is disjointed and time delayed simply because no one wants to take responsibility for their work. It is an industry which is rife with bum covering , which does nothing nut delays and adds expense.
I have worked on both the Bureaucratic and private enterprise side of the counter and will provide an no holds barred expose into the industry and how it can be improved. Hopefully this will help you navigate the mine field that is building you house, the largest item most of you will buy.
And hopefully industry participants will take up the cudgels of the information provided in this blog and lead the industry into the change that is needed. Because if the people working int he industry do not make the changes for a better industry, the shiny bums policy people in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will. And they have no practical experience at all.