13 June 2016

MBIE’s building product assurance campaign

Concerns about inferior building products over recent months have made the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) current product assurance campaign particularly timely. Last month's workshop series for manufacturers and suppliers showed this group’s keen appetite for further education.

The campaign, which is supported by new online resources, helps manufacturers and suppliers to learn more about their legal obligations, how to improve the quality of their product information, and how to back up their Building Code compliance claims with suitable evidence. It includes education with other key participants in the building process to make sure they understand their role in ensuring products used in building work are fit for purpose.

At the same time, MBIE is also following up on some specific product complaints, including conducting joint investigations with the Commerce Commission (which deals with false claims and misleading advertising). Anyone with concerns about a particular building product can send details to products@mbie.govt.nz

Work by MBIE to assist building consent authorities has highlighted ongoing issues relating to product substitution. In some cases, products substituted after building consent has been granted are unauthorised, have no evidence of compliance with the relevant Building Code requirements, and invalidate various contract conditions and warranties.  

MBIE has published a quick guide to product substitution to complement existing guidance on minor variations.