Evaluation of the Building Consent System

This evaluation was designed to better understand how well the current system is aligned with its intended objectives and to explore the underlying causes of issues with its efficiency, predictability and effectiveness.

This is the web version of the Evaluation of the Building Consent System report

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Evaluation of the Building Consent System [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Photo of house under construction with timber framing and scaffolding.
In this section

1. Executive summary

The building consent system comprises the people, processes and regulatory environment that together provide assurance that building design and construction work complies with the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

2. Evaluation background and purpose

The current building consent system was established by the Building Act 1991 and has since been strengthened under the Building Act 2004. It functions as a critical component of the building regulatory system to ensure that building work is designed and carried out according to the Building Code.

3. Understanding how well the building consent system is aligned with its intent

The building consent system provides assurance that the performance of a building satisfies the requirements of the Building Code.

4. Problems in the building consent system

The building consent system has long been faced with complaints of inefficient, inconsistent and ineffective decisions and processes. These typically involve frustrations with delays and inconsistencies and result in finger-pointing about poor-quality work and decision making.

5. Discussion of underlying causes

Reviewing data from the fieldwork, it is clear that there is no single underlying cause that is contributing to issues in the building consent system.