Government law changes to enable faster consenting, more prefabs, comes into force

Building and Construction
  • BuiltReady scheme will streamline consenting for offsite manufacturers with fewer inspection requirements
  • A strengthened CodeMark product certification will improve confidence in building product compliance with the Building Code, including offsite and prefab manufacturing products

Law changes that introduce a new voluntary certification scheme for modular component, or prefab, manufacturers, and strengthen New Zealand’s building product certification scheme have come into force today, Minister for Building and Construction and Housing, Megan Woods says.

“This Government’s top priority is to secure our economy for New Zealanders and to help our businesses thrive. That’s why we’re constantly looking at creating efficiencies to boost construction, reduce building costs, and generate less waste.

“These schemes both enable faster consenting of quality assured homes and buildings. Greater use of prefab methods and products will help us to keep up momentum to deliver the homes New Zealand needs and bring costs down,” said Megan Woods.

The new BuiltReady scheme will allow offsite building manufacturers who meet certain requirements to become certified to sign off their own designs and/or construction. BuiltReady modular components will be deemed to comply with the Building Code.

“Homes made offsite benefit from lower building costs, experience less delays, and significantly produce less construction waste which we know is dominating our landfills in New Zealand. BuiltReady gives manufacturers the option of a streamlined consenting pathway specifically designed for their needs.

“The changes to CodeMark will provide assurance that those evaluating and certifying products are doing their jobs well. This will help to grow confidence and uptake in the scheme that creates consenting efficiencies for buildings that use innovative or higher-risk products,” Megan Woods said.

The law changes for the BuiltReady scheme and revised CodeMark scheme take effect today. The BuiltReady scheme will be open for applications from certification bodies in late 2022 and open for applications from manufacturers in 2023

Notes to Editor

BuiltReady and the changes to CodeMark were passed as part of the Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 alongside provisions for new building product information requirements. The new building product information requirements will come into force in December 2023. These law changes will require a minimum level of information to be made publicly available about building products, including how they are expected to contribute to compliance with the Building Code and how they should be used.

The building product certification scheme, known as CodeMark, is a voluntary scheme that allows building products and building methods to be certified as meeting the requirements of the Building Code. Building consent authorities must accept a CodeMark certificate as evidence of compliance with the Building Code. The changes include new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) registration requirements for product certification bodies and fully revised scheme rules to give MBIE better oversight of the scheme.

The registration fee for certificates of $180.30 (excl GST) is applicable to any new certificates issued after 7 September 2022. This will only apply to new CodeMark certificates and not revisions of current certificates.

MBIE is developing training and guidance information for certification bodies, technical experts, assessors, and industry stakeholders so all scheme participants understand the new scheme requirements and transitional arrangements. MBIE has also developed new scheme rules, which provide the detail for scheme participants about their roles and responsibilities, the operating process and the evaluation criteria.