Changes in Legislation

The process involved...

Anyone can make a submission to present their opinion about proposed law change:

Before becoming an Act of Parliament, bills have to pass through the following stages:

  • Introduction - when a bill is publicly available, and has a formal existence.
  • First Reading - the chance to debate a Bill in the House of Representatives.
  • Select Committee - invitation for public submissions, and possible amendments to the Bill.
  • Second Reading - occurs after the Select Committee reports to the House.
  • Committee of the whole House - further debate on the proposed Bill, and a chance to examine the Bill in detail and make additional changes. Once the final form of a Bill is agreed, it is reprinted.
  • Third Reading - a summing-up debate of the Bill in its final form. The Bill is either passed or rejected.
  • Royal Assent - the final step before it becomes law, where it is signed by the Governor-General.

Read below for updates on the following bills / reviews:

The Resource Management Reform Bill                                                                                                                             

Public Submissions are now being invited on this bill (Feb 2013). Make a Submission.

The Local Government Act Review

The Bill will deal with the purpose of local government, the introduction of fiscal responsibility requirements, council governance provisions and streamlining council reorganisation procedures...

Other parts of the programme include work on reducing the bureaucratic costs of the Local Government Act, improving how central and local governments allocate regulatory roles, a review of development contributions and how infrastructure can be delivered more cost effectively. This work will be fed into a second reform bill proposed for 2013.  For further information refer to the Department of Internal Affairs website on Better Local Government. The Local Government Act 2002 has been amended in 2014 - view Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 on Internal Affairs website.

Building Amendment Bill No. 4 - Consumer Protection

Building Amendment Bill No. 4, released on 6 September 2011 covers consumer protection with mandatory contracts, changes to Schedule One, increased fines for building without a consent, powers and authorities of the Chief Executive of the MBIE, and more... 
Read the Bills Digest version.

Submissions were open until 11 June 2012 - 56 were received. Read the Submissions (Note: it is slow to load).

[ Back to top ]

The Construction Contracts Amendment Bill    

This bill was Introduced to the House on 29 January 2013, and has 3 main changes to the Construction Contracts Act. Along with other building law reforms, it is aimed at improving the building sectors accountability and profitability.

There are 3 main changes:

  • the removal of the distinction between residential and commercial construction contracts
  • extending the scope of the Act to include specified consultants e.g., design, engineering and quantity surveying work
  • amending the enforcement of adjudicators' determinations, and reducing the time for opposition from 15 working days to 5.

Making a submission to a Government Bill

Submissions can be made by organisations and individuals via the Parliament Website

The Review of Liability Law - progress to date...

Sapere Research Group and Buddle Findlay were asked by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to review the implications the current liability rule (as it relates to negligent acts) in the building and construction sector. 

Sapere's role was to assess the economic arguments for alternative rules in terms of their effect on incentives, efficiency and underlying behaviour. 

The intention of the work was to assess the merits of alternative legal rules in terms of the Government's ultimate goal of enhanced accountability in the building and construction sector.  Buddle Findlay and Sapere did not find evidence (either in law or economics) that a change to the current rule of joint and several liabilities would improve accountability. Rather, other rules for allocating liability look more unpalatable and are only likely to worsen the situation. 

[ Back to top ]


Significant changes have been made to the Building Code and these affect building structure (B1) and external moisture (E2) documents. Read the updated guidance on E2 on MBIE website.

In addition, new guidance documents have been introduced for barriers, reinforcing of concrete slab-on-ground floors, and building on soils subject to liquefaction. For more information, go to the MBIE website and refer to:

Please note the dates when these changes come into force and when old documents expire.  See Compliance Documents.

Page last updated: 2016-06-03

Hauraki Matamata Piako Waitomo Otorohanga Waipa Waikato Hamilton