New Compliance Document for backcountry huts
Department of Conservation backcountry huts have been exempted from certain Building Code requirements as a result of amendments to the Code in late 2008.
The exemptions include the requirements to have:
- fire safety systems eg, fire hydrants, smoke alarms and emergency lighting
- access and sanitary facilities for wheelchair users
- drinkable water supply and artificial lighting.
The Department of Conservation manages a network of more than 800 backcountry huts throughout New Zealand. They offer a unique experience for domestic and foreign visitors alike, emphasising self-reliance and providing only basic services.
Many of the huts will be coming up for replacement in the next few decades. The simplified Building Code requirements will ensure that DOC is able to undertake this task without undue costs and difficulties. Under the amendments, the Director-General of Conservation will specify those huts deemed to be 'backcountry huts'.
The Department of Building and Housing has published a Compliance Document for backcountry huts, which is intended to supplement the Building Code amendments. The document is available on the Department's website.