The government are increasing fines and introducing new penalties around the building warrant of fitness process in a newly released Cabinet Paper. Find out more.
In a recent release of a Cabinet Paper, the Ministry of Business Innovation and employment have released recommendations from the minister for a legislative change that increases fines for building owners failing to supply a building warrant of fitness and new offences for IQPs who are submitting a certificate of compliance on a faulty system.
In an apparent reaction to the failings of the Loafers Lodge fire in Wellington in February the government has established a number of issues which they considered require changing within the building act in order to ensure that the building warrant of fitness process can be reinforced to ensure building safety in New Zealand.
The current infringement fine of $250 for failing to supply a building warrant of fitness is proposed to increase to $1000 under the new changes. Building owners can also prosecuted for coercing an IQP to issue a certificate of compliance, and IQPs can be fined up to $150,000 for issuing a certificate of compliance on a system which is faulty.
There is also a proposal to construct a National Register for IQPs to ensure consistency of qualifications and accreditation is required to qualify inspectors. At present inspectors are registered through the local territorial authority. In the South Island all of the councils have grouped together to have a single register so that and IQP in one area can inspect systems in other jurisdictions. You can access the IQP register online at any time through the South Island IQP register search function but this is not a perfect system.
This will place much more pressure on building owners and especially IQPs across the compliance industry in New Zealand. There will be more pressure on IQ peas to ensure compliance on systems they certify or face substantial fines or deregistration as a consequence. Councils will now have more tools in their belt when it comes to buildings which do not submit a building warrant of fitness on time, and we would expect fines to be issued more often don't stop
We will keep you updated as changes occur. Keep an eye on our website For more information.