Better Building and Construction

Breaking the barriers to affordable building materials. 

New Zealand’s building and construction sector is a critical part of our economy. It employs 295,000 people, contributes seven per cent of GDP, and delivers more than 40,000 houses, commercial and industrial buildings every year. 

But the sector faces productivity challenges from excessive regulation, worker shortages, disrupted supply chains and a severe boom-bust cycle. 

National’s Better Building and Construction will streamline building consents to cut compliance costs and allow innovative new products into the country, making high-quality building materials more affordable. 

National’s plan will: 

Streamline building consents and make construction more efficient by requiring councils to accept video and photo evidence of work done. 

Fast track Code Compliance Certificates by requiring certificates to be issued within five working days of final inspections. 

Strengthen competition for building materials with automatic approval for appropriately certified building materials from US, Europe, UK and Australia. 

Resolve worker shortages with appropriate immigration settings and trades training. 

National will also: 

  • Transfer the processing of Category 3 building consents (buildings over 10 metres) to dedicated consenting teams that specialise in these types of buildings. 
  • Review the Building Code with a goal to introduce streamlined risk-based consenting that considers the size and complexity of a development and the builder’s credentials. 
  • Make the promotion of competition a goal of the building regulatory system, as recommended by the Commerce Commission. 
  • Review scaffolding rules to ensure they are fit for purpose.
  • Encourage innovative building standards to reduce environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Read National’s Better Building and Construction plan here