A Building Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament earlier this year as one of the initiatives to help streamline the building consenting and approval system.
The Bill helps provide greater clarity on the requirements for considering and approving amendments to building consents, including distinguishing between “minor” and “major” variations to consented building work.
Until the Bill is further considered in Parliament and becomes law, the Department of Building and Housing has developed guidance to help people in the interim.
This guidance sets out the Department’s expectations around how proposed variations should be communicated to building consent authorities, be assessed by building officials, and the options available for then making the required amendment approvals to the original building consent documents for the building work.
Roles and responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of each party are outlined, and the document also discusses minor and major variations and the options available for handling each.
The Guide to Building Consent Amendments (September 2008) publication is designed to help the construction sector to effectively and efficiently deal with amendments.
In particular, the guide encourages builders, designers, home owners (and their agents) and developers to identify and notify proposed variations at the earliest stage.
It also assists building officials to follow a more sound and practical approach to dealing with proposed variations.
This should allow for quicker decision making by building officials.
Hard copies of the Guide to Building Consent Amendments are available from the Department (phone 0800 242 243).
They are also available on the Department’s web site along with other relevant information, including the Guide to Building Consent Applications (simple residential buildings) and the Beginner’s Guide to Resource and Building Consent Processes.