Government throws small lifeline to struggling construction industry with upcoming law change

Some relief is in sight for under pressure tradies, who’ve been pleading with the Government to change a law that protects some of their hard-earned money.

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The Government says it’s coming for “cowboys” who fail to set money aside to protect sub-contractors and workers. Source: 1 NEWS

Retention funds are held by major contractors, with the cash intended to be given back to subcontractors in the event of companies collapsing.

But in some cases, the money has been mixed with other funds and not been available for those subbies.

That’s left many on the brink of financial collapse.

Grant Price from Heatwave Mechanical is one of those, he’s lost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

The Government is tightening up the law, by making the funds more transparent and warning companies and directors they could be prosecuted.

That includes fines of up to $200,000.

“It’s long overdue,” Mr Price told 1 NEWS.

The construction industry is first hit in tough economic times, and there are concerns New Zealand will see a rush on company collapses. 

But the changes are still some time off. 

The proposed law still needs to go through Parliament, which is likely to take months.