An update from the Building System Assurance team

Posted: 23 March 2021

We sat down with Simon Thomas, the National Manager of Building System Assurance, to find out what the team do and how to get in touch.

What is Building System Assurance?

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a team dedicated to compliance and assurance in the building regulatory system. We manage parts of the system that regulate building work and monitor its effectiveness. 

What kind of work does the team do?

Our team focus on Building Consent Authorities and Territorial Authorities, manage the national multiple-use approvals scheme (Multiproof), building product assurance, CodeMark, the earthquake-prone buildings register and serious building failure investigations.

Some specific examples are:

  • Assessing and responding to product complaints and initiate product investigations. 
  • Operation of the national multiple-use approvals (Multiproof) scheme.
  • Operation and oversight of the Earthquake-Prone Buildings Register.
  • Operation of the product certification (Codemark) scheme, including managing the relationship with JAS-ANZ. 

Do you do investigations?

We carry out serious building failure investigations. This allows the building sector to learn, helping prevent future building failures. Findings from building failure investigations may be made publically available on mbie.govt.nz. We also carry out investigations into building products and methods. 

What work do you do with Councils?

We have a co-regulator relationship with Councils. Building consent authorities (BCAs) undertake daily operations and we work closely with them through our BCA accreditation scheme. We monitor the performance of territorial authorities (TAs) and BCAs with regard to their functions under the Building Act, and promote improvement where this is not up to standard. We also handle complaints against BCAs. 

What’s new in your area?

We’ve recently issued Building Consent Authority (BCA) registration to Consentium (a division of Kāinga Ora) to become a BCA. The Building Act enables entities that are not councils to undertake building consenting functions. The registration was granted after a rigorous process where independent accreditation body IANZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment were both satisfied that there was appropriate governance, policies, and systems in place to the applicable regulatory requirements. 

The registration allows Consentium to deliver consenting, inspection services and other related BCA functions within statutory timeframes.To maintain their status as a BCA, Consentium’s performance will be monitored and assessed on a regular basis to ensure the high standards required to achieve accreditation and registration are maintained.

Where can people find out more?

Head to Building.govt.nz to understand your rights and responsibilities in New Zealand's building sector and more about what the functions carried out by the Building System Assurance team. 

Contact details for the team

Building Act, Councils, BCAs, consenting 

consentsystem@mbie.govt.nz

CodeMark and Products 

products@mbie.govt.nz

MultiProof 

multiproof@mbie.govt.nz

Earthquake prone buildings (EPB)

EPB@mbie.govt.nz

EPB register 

EPB.Register@mbie.govt.nz

Territorial Authorities 

TA_assessments@mbie.govt.nz 

Anything else you’d like the sector to know about?

It was recognised in early 2019 that capacity within the existing team was insufficient to perform the regulatory functions required by the Building Act and to respond to changes to the Act. 

We now have a team with the right capability and capacity to effectively undertake its service delivery and regulatory responsibilities as well as the right team to work collaboratively with our partners in the building regulatory system. 

A team of people in office-wear stand together in front of a grey building wall.

Pictured back row: Principal Advisor Technical Clare Botha, National Manager Building System Assurance Simon Thomas, Manager Compliance and Assurance Alan Clark, Principal Advisor Regulatory Services Paul Hobbs, Manager Investigations Tony Moore. Front row: Manager Regulatory Services Sharon Threadwell, Business Systems and Operations Manager Sally Goyat.

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: