DIY about to get cheaper as Government relaxes need for building consents

The Government has scrapped the need for consents for low-risk building work amid the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

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From August, sleepouts, carports and outdoor firepits won’t need consent. Source: 1 NEWS

Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres - including sleep-outs, sheds, greenhouses and carports - will be affected by the new exemptions to the Building Act, Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa, said today in a statement.

It’s expected to save homeowners $18 million in consenting costs per year. Building work must still meet the Building Code, however.

“These changes will save New Zealanders time and money and mean councils can focus on higher-risk building work, boosting the building and construction sector in the Covid-19 recovery,” Ms Salesa said.

It's expected to result in 9000 fewer consents to process a year, she said. 

Some of the new exemptions introduced today will utilise the Licensed Builder Practitioners scheme, Ms Salesa said, which “recognises the competence of these building practitioners and allows them to join chartered professional engineers and certifying plumbers in having their own suite of exemptions”.

"Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home, and this Government is finding ways to help build more houses by unclogging the building consent process, making it quicker and more affordable."

The exemptions are part of a wider building system reform programme, which also includes the Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan, the Construction Skills Action Plan, and Building Law reforms.

Most of the new exemptions are expected to commence at the end of August after the necessary changes have been made to the Building Act.