Quality over quantity: ensuring new-builds in New Zealand are done right

As a result of the housing shortage in New Zealand, the number of new-builds per year is expected to increase by 11,000 homes in 2015. While this will help with the housing crisis, an obvious risk is the quality of these homes being compromised by the demand for quantity.

To try to minimize this risk, new guidelines were released on 22 May 2015 at the Certified Builders’ Association Conference. These guidelines cover the standards of work expected for key aspects of new home construction.

The aim of the guidelines is to provide clarity around common areas of dispute that arise with new-builds. For example, guidance is now provided on the degree of slope that is acceptable for a floor and whether a driveway crack is acceptable or not.

These guidelines are complementary to the new consumer protection regulations which were released on 1 January 2015. Forming part of these regulations is a clause that states that, up to 12 months after the practical completion date of a building, tradespeople will have an ongoing obligation to fix any defects attributable to them. The guidelines set out when the obligation to fix will arise.

These guidelines are a further step in the right direction to ensure that the quality of new homes in New Zealand is not compromised. Let’s see how well they deliver on that promise.


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