Whānau building homes could save money following new consent changes

updated By Jessica Tyson

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements after the Government scrapped the consents process for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports.

Yesterday the Government introduced new exemptions to the Building Act in a move that will save homeowners $18 million in consenting costs each year. This will allow the construction sector to kickstart work on larger projects, providing more employment opportunities for the country's post-COVID recovery.

Builder Himiona Hunia says it will help the process for customers or clients who are building their own homes by helping them save money.

“The whole point is for whānau to be able to afford their own, I guess small whare, to address some of the overflows for our people who are struggling to find kāinga out there.”

Scrapping the consents process will also allow the construction sector to kick start work on larger projects, providing more employment opportunities for the country's post-COVID recovery.

Hunia says could also make building projects such as papakāinga a lot easier.

“At the moment we’re still in the understanding process is and how that’s going to all impact that area of papakāinga. I guess in time we’ll get a better understanding of how that works and what it means for our whānau and people with their own blocks of land.”

Scrapping the consents process means builders will still have to consider any safety risks.

"We need to be vigilant and proactive in making sure that we follow the building performance guidelines so that our whānau are safe and we know what we’re doing the right job and making sure everything is above board and in accordance to the building code."

Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says construction work must still meet the Building Code.