What a busy month it has been, with action on all fronts at the RMBF!
As you are all aware, the earthquake in Canterbury has provided problems and opportunities. Our organisation has been proactive in getting alongside key Government and industry organisations to see how we and our members can assist going forward.
We have received a huge amount of enquiry from the media on the earthquake, particularly around the logistics of reparation.
We will no doubt continue to field calls as progress is made and the reality of the remediation required is revealed.
Below is some of the activity the RMBF has been, and continues to be, involved in regarding the Canterbury earthquake:
• Made immediate contact with the Minister of Civil Defence to offer any assistance we could.
• We implemented our Catastrophe Response Professional Services Agreement with the EQC, and provided estimating personnel in Wellington through the Wellington Association.
• We are maintaining a register of members offering assistance, and passing this on to the EQC on a regular basis.
• We are involved in discussions with the DBH regarding options to fast-track building consents by bringing forward the implementation of the recent decisions around risk-based consenting announced with the Building Act Review, including a possible extension to Schedule 1 of the Building Act.
• We have discussed with the DBH and Local Government New Zealand how to ensure business as usual activity is maintained during this period.
• We are working with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority on a way of managing and providing clean heating solutions for the (up to) 30,000 fallen chimneys.
• We are working on developing an affordable contract works insurance plan for smaller jobs to better protect the builder and home owner.
• Along with other major industry groups, we are part of the earthquakefix.co.nz web portal which is a register of reputable trade associations. This includes the distribution of 10,000 fridge magnets, with another 10,000 in the pipeline.
Of course, all of this is in support of the fantastic job being done by our good folk at the Canterbury Registered Master Builders Association. They’re the ones on the ground fielding the local enquiry from the media and the public.
We applaud their efforts, and will continue to assist wherever possible to ensure the region gets back up and running as soon as possible.
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We have now completed all regional events in the 2010 House of the Year competition. The 125 Gold Reserve national finalists have been named, and preparations are well under way for the National Gala event in November.
I had the pleasure of attending a number of regional events and thoroughly enjoyed each of them.
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Our involvement in the industry-wide groups focused on addressing technical and liability issues relating to weathertightness continues.
I believe that these groups are developing some much needed clarity around these issues, but plenty of work still needs to be done. I will have further updates over the next few months.
Yes, it’s a busy time to be president of this fine organisation!