The licensed building practitioner: Another step in the New Zealand battle against the leaking building.

    Murphy, Chris
    Architecture and the environment


ABSTRACT: The long-term proposal to license building practitioners marks a final retreat from the strong pioneering tradition of self-help and owner building that historically has been a significant element in small-scale construction within New Zealand. The Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme, introduced into the 2004 Building Act, is a government initiative prompted by severe criticism of the systemic deficiencies within the NZ building industry by the 2002 Hunn Report into the causes of leaking buildings.

The Government views Licensed Practitioners Scheme (LBP) scheme as part of an ongoing process to shift responsibility for building quality and building oversight from public to private industry, and hence to open up potential efficiencies and lessen the financial burden the NZ tax and ratepayer from poor supervision and decision making on the part of local government.

This paper will provide a brief history of the controversy surrounding building under performance. It will examine the role proposed for the Licensed Building Practitioner and the role LBP’s will play within the Governments desire to yet again initiate amendments to the building act to areas related to minor works, low risk dwellings and the building consent process. Industry responses to the proposed Licensing scheme in the submissions process are analyzed. The paper analyses the view that the licensing process runs the risk of failure unless legislative and educational systems supporting the intended role have had time to coalesce and prove their effectiveness.

Keywords: Leaking buildings. Building Code Policy, Construction Technology

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