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Building Amendment Act 2013

The Building Amendment Act 2013 was passed by Parliament on 27 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 that it 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.

Immediate changes


Changes to the dam safety scheme

Changes are being made to improve the efficiency of the dam safety scheme. The Building (Dam Safety) Regulations are currently being drafted and will come into force 1 July 2015. 


New consumer protection measures

Cabinet has agreed to the proposed consumer protection measures, these measures include:

  • Mandatory written contracts for residential building work over $30,000
  • A requirement for building contractors to provide checklists and disclose certain information for residential building work over $30,000
  • Details of the minimum content that must be included in residential building contracts
  • Details of the clauses that are taken to be included in a residential building contract that does not contain all of the minimum content, or in a contract for work over $30,000 that is not in writing
  • Details of the information that a building contractor must provide to the client after the building work is completed
  • Infringement fees of $500 for breaching the contract, disclosure or checklist requirements.

View the Regulations for consumer rights and remedies in relation to residential building work cabinet paper »

NOTE: Although the Cabinet paper proposes $20,000 as the minimum price of residential building work requiring contracts, checklists and disclosure of information, Cabinet decided to increase this price to $30,000.

Next steps;

The regulations will be drafted and come into force in early 2015. A comprehensive advice, information and education campaign will be rolled out to support the regulations coming into force.

Keep an eye on our website and newsletters for updates.

More information