General policy statement
This Bill is an omnibus Bill and 1 of a package of 3 omnibus Bills that contain amendments to legislation administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (the Ministry). This Bill, the Regulatory Systems (Building and Housing) Amendment Bill, makes amendments in the building and housing areas. The policy objective of each Bill is to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory systems established by the Acts amended by the Bills and so reduce the chance of regulatory failure. The amendments will achieve this objective by—
clarifying and updating statutory provisions in each Act amended to give effect to the purpose of that Act and its provisions; and
addressing regulatory duplication, gaps, errors, and inconsistencies within and between different pieces of legislation; and
keeping the regulatory system up to date and relevant; and
removing unnecessary compliance costs and costs of doing business.
The amendments were identified as part of the Ministry’s regulatory systems work programme, which arises from the chief executive’s responsibility to relevant Ministers, under section 32 of the State Sector Act 1988, for the stewardship of the legislation administered by the Ministry.
The Bills respond to the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s June 2014 report, Regulatory Institutions and Practices. The New Zealand Productivity Commission found that it can be difficult to find time on the Parliamentary calendar for “repairs and maintenance” of existing legislation. As a result, regulatory agencies often have to work with legislation that is out of date or not fit for purpose. This creates unnecessary costs for regulators and regulated parties and means that regimes may not keep up with public or political expectations.
This Bill, the Regulatory Systems (Building and Housing) Amendment Bill, is a vehicle for these smaller regulatory fixes in the building and housing areas to be progressed in a timely and cost-effective fashion in order to deliver the flow-on benefits to business and the wider economy. It includes the following amendments:
Building Act 2004 (see Part 1)
The purpose of the Building Act 2004 amendments is to make minor fixes to improve the overall quality of the Act. This will be achieved by fixing cross-referencing errors and removing a redundant provision.
Unit Titles Act 2010 (see Part 2)
The purpose of the amendments to the Unit Titles Act 2010 is to reduce unnecessary compliance burden and to clarify matters in relation to unit plans, body corporate operational rules, reassessment of ownership interests and utility interests, the registration of easements and covenants, leases and licences of common property, and extraordinary general meetings of the body corporate.