Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The Pavlovian reaction by Labour's Little man to the notion that Government may entertain having builders (who meet strict Industry standards) self-certify their work is to be expected from a Party that views bureaucracy as the best thing since sliced bread.

No matter that the electrician who turned up to do some work at chez moi today was able to sign-off his work.    Clearly, in the brave new world of Labour, electricians are to be trusted and builders not.  

Spot the inconsistency.


Nookin said...

One of the unique features of our law of negligence is the duty of care owed by territorial authorities to home owners. Homeowners are entitled to rely on a council to inspect plans and specificatiob, inspect work underway anf sign off the code compliance certificate.

There is red tape, sure, but the comfort of a council assurance has a lot of value. We experimented with building certifiers but it did not work. Leaky homes cases involve damn near every tradie, supplier, designer and project manager who stepped foot on the site. The only certainty is that the council will be there too and that other parties will disappear.

I am not keen on having to rely on a builder signing off without some other assuance or insurance.

Anonymous said...

I can see it now. "Sorry sir we are rejecting your insurance claim because the work is sub standard, Sue the person who signed it off"

"Can't he went broke last year"

"Sue the the builder"

"Can't, Bill Bloggs builders Ltd went broke as well"

"But he is building around the corner"

"No, that's Bill Bloggs builders (2015} Ltd"

Self regulation has not worked with Banks, MP's, or the media. Which only goes to prove that Labour are ALWAYS wrong, even when they are right.

Psycho Milt said...

Clearly, in the brave new world of Labour, electricians are to be trusted and builders not.

Weird, isn't it. It's almost like there was some recent history involving builders being left to their own devices and turning out shoddily-constructed buildings that ended up costing their unsuspecting purchasers huge sums to fix.

JC said...

PM, my recollection is that the failure occurred at every level.. architects, suppliers, builders, quango, local authority and Govt and basically none of them accepted responsibility. In fact builders may have been the least culpable because they at least were working off the assurances of suppliers, experts and regulators.

From memory the whistleblowers were some builders and Forest Research Institute.


Exclamation Mark said...

I'm with PM and Nookin: this is a terrible idea. I'm all for reducing red tape but this is a dumb way to do it. In a competitive building market there will always be cowboys who cut corners to make things a little cheaper yo win contracts, if they can sign off on their own work this is going to make it so very much easier for them.

The difference with the likes of sparkies is that they have far more robust safety protocols around what they do, if they cut corners the short term risk is that a house could burn down or someone could be electrocuted and they'd be in serious shit. The best case scenario for them is that the light switches don't work so they get called back to fix it.

With builders, they could decide to maybe use H3 timber instead of H4 (I know of a case where this has happened) and the problem might not show up for 10 years or until the homeowner goes to sell the house and someone else does a LIM report and makes the discovery. And then, as with Anon's Bill Blogs Ltd scenario, the dodgy builder is long gone and because nobody has been hurt or killed by the substandard materials it is a civil matter and the homeowner is left with a house they can't sell or afford to rebuild and no one to take to court over it.

The Veteran said...

Folks ... read the post please especially the bit about those doing the work having to meet strict industry standards.

gravedodger said...

Calling many of those who constructed leaky homes, 'builders' is somewhat disingenuous Milt, many were partial trained or even just hammerhands working under project managers with zero trade training or understanding working in a company structure.

Meanwhile the Architects and draughters who drew shonky, albeit very fashionable designs to plans, then oversaw the hammerhands and project managed constructions, were never in the spotlight even when the more astute and knowledgeable amongst the builders, would not even quote on the deeply flawed ideas using unproven systems from minimal rainfall areas, remonstrated with the promoters of the monoclad systems with little or no eaves, the main contributor to leaky buildings.

Even very ordinary untrained minds could see that flat and low profile roofs with no overhang that are so effective and acceptable in rainfalls below 250mm pa are never going to work out when annual rainfalls exceed a meter punctuated with heavy rain events and day on day of high humidity with poor drying climates. Think umbrella here.

The main defendants who have totally avoided any responsibility were purveyors of systems that did not suit NZ climates often rewarding successful promotion and sales with lavish prizes.
It is beyond simplistic to
(a) Blame reputable builders,
(b) Continue to denigrate those professionals amongst the building trade for fly by nighters, exploited by system salesmen, plan drawers and project managers, all of whom had no idea of traditional building systems and how they had coped with NZ conditions using eaves, airspace, flashings and drainage scope with foundations, successfully proven for over a century.
Plaster on studs, insulation in the framework and gib linings on the inner surface of framing, sitting on ground level floating foundations, all with no drainage or air circulation was always going to gather and retain any leaks then add in kiln dried untreated timber, think about it.

All facets of service across all fields have self discipline as a main audit and control system hence the occasional bloody teacher who takes advantage with students with associated appalling outcomes.

Many "building inspectors" I have come against should never be employed to build a rabbit hutch.
Hell after we had our house built here, I built an adjacent 100 sq M shed under the Builders supervision, then I built a 'Barn' from a universal approved by all district councils, 'kitset', and they are all signed off as 100% compliant. However when the Barn came up for final sign off, the Muppet from by then Christchurch City consent division, yes the same outfit that had to be handed to a commissioner, could not find where on his list of songs he could sign off on; Electrics (none), Linings (none), Plumbing (none), Drains(none), and during the whole embarrassing episode completely missed the fact the structure was too close to the boundary by meters.
Not a problem as I have a letter of consent from the neighbour accepting the site and conceding any right to protest it, on file.

Exclamation Mark said...


I'm sure VW was considered a car manufacturer that met strict industry standards up until yesterday when it was discovered that they, in fact, weren't meeting those standards and had either made some catastrophic screw up that their robust German QC systems should have prevented OR they just straight up lied about it.

You can have all the strict standards you want but if you don't have a system in place that makes sure these are actually being followed then they are all for naught.

Noel said...

Reminds me of the change in the apprentice system. The Fitter/Turner/Welding trade was changed to Diagnostic Technician and large companies closed down their apprentice workshops and got rid of the Apprentice Master.

The result was the tradesmen were supposed to sign off on the apprentice that he was capable for the task in the module. Some tradesmen were hard as nails and other simply signed to get the apprentice out of his bay.
The end results was the circle was turned and a senior experienced tradesman was detailed the task. In the earlier scheme they made up the Apprentice Masters.

I remember management complaining about the number of injuries amongst first year apprentices. I reminded them that in the old system they never left the training workshop and you've decided to get more output by putting them on the production tools.

Anonymous said...

I think what veteran wants is to replace a regulatory system that works reasonably well with another that has more holes than my gumboots. When the inspectors are overworked as in the ChCh rebuild look what happened to to trust, self regulation and strict industry standards.
Take the money and run.

Lord Egbut Nobacon.