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Check new regulations before you build

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New exemptions to the Building Act will allow more work to be undertaken without a building consent.

However, Wairoa residents are reminded that any building work must still comply with the Resource Management Act.

The changes are intended to make low-risk building projects less costly, while also boosting the construction sector and assist the country’s recovery from COVID-19.

Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May said the new discretions do not detract from Building Code obligations.

“Those carrying out building work also have a responsibility to comply with Resource Management Act rules in the zone the property is situated.

“Before work commences, it is advised to check to ensure the building complies with boundary distances, height recession plane rules (shading) and the allowable site coverage.

“To ensure consistent messaging, any local people who have queries are being referred to the MBIE website in a bid to maintain consistency in interpreting the new rules.”

Mr May said there are still a lot of unanswered queries around the rule changes and Council staff are monitoring the responses to the frequently asked questions on MBIE website.

“Council’s next newsletter to our building industry community will have more information around the implication of these rules.”

Most of the new exemptions are expected to commence at the end of August, but some will be later after the necessary changes to the Building Act have been made.

It is expected the changes could save building owners nationwide up to $18million a year in consenting costs.

Changes will see single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres without any plumbing – such as sleep-outs, sheds, greenhouses, carports and awnings not now requiring a council-approved building consent.

Some of the exemptions, however, are only allowable if they are carried out by a Licenced Building Practitioner or designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).

Mr May said people planning a build are encouraged to thoroughly check out the new rules and regulations as it can be costly to go through the resource consent process to legalise an incorrectly sited building, or, in the worst case, to have to remove it.

For more information head to www.building.govt.nz.

8 June 2020

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