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Speaker: The government's Rules Reduction Taskforce went on a witch hunt, and couldn't find any witches

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  • Adam H,

    Yes, yes, yes, I do see that there is a real dilemma here. In that, while it has been government policy to regard policy as a responsibility of Ministers and administration as a responsibility of Officials, the questions of administrative policy can cause confusion between the policy of administration and the administration of policy, especially when responsibility for the administration of the policy of administration conflicts, or overlaps with, responsibility for the policy of the administration of policy.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Adam H, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I agree: leaky buildings weren't caused by "shonky builders" (to quote Morning Report who should know better). They were caused by shonky Corporates and shonky governance.

    A lobby group managed to get a flawed product approved. From then on it was inspected and signed off. All official and to specification.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • WSW, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The main workmanship problem ( there were a few ) was that their builder was supposed to install 'dripper lines' from windows - which are meant to run right to the bottom of the building inside the cladding - taking any water away - this guy fudged that and installed about 10 cm lengths of dripper line ..( so looking from the top you'd think they went all the way to the bottom - but he'd chopped them off short - god knows why ! ) which would have taken water straight down INTO the framing .

    The Building Inspector seems to have had his doubts about this builder and decided to look behind some unfastened cladding and spotted what he'd done.
    Quickly gave him a " FAILED " which gave us grounds for redress - you can't argue when the building Inspector fails you.

    If that builder had been self regulating we'd be in deep shit around about now.
    I cannot believe they'd even THINK about doing away with Council Inspectors.

    Oh wait ..yes I can .

    Tasman • Since Sep 2015 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    why hire someone to do what you should be able to do yourself

    There is a point where I decide that it's Ok to pay someone to do work I could do myself because I'm kinda busy doing work that I've trained for 20 years to do that not many other people can do.

    BUT damned if I'll skip the process of talking to them properly and figuring out for certain that they know what the fuck they are doing.

    AND I'll damn well check on them as they go, the first round of block laid for our foundations would have made our home 20 cm skew whiff if I hadn't measured the diagonals!

    Even then I'm kinda happy to have building inspectors check as well.

    I've never met a good workman who minded having their work checked - what pisses them off is when they have to wait around half a day for someone who then only does a half-arsed job of checking anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    - what pisses them off is when they have to wait around half a day for someone who then only does a half-arsed job of checking anyway.

    And abides by the tainted rules based on increasing profits for the few.
    And... if your contractor didn't set the foundations out correctly then he was not a builder... caveat emptor an all that, never use an unknown builder, do not trust those "registered master builder" stickers to mean anything, reputation is king.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Those bloody regulators who check things on behalf of the consumer....all the way from VW to the EPA!

    Bloomberg reports VW engineers struggled to explain these results to the EPA and CARB after an investigation began. Regulators weren’t satisfied with that explanation, so they threatened to withhold certifications and effectively halt sales.

    Only then did VW concede the cars had a cheat device. The EPA didn’t know about this before because they depend on automakers to self-certify their cars.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    if your contractor didn’t set the foundations out correctly then he was not a builder

    That's circular.

    He was a BAD builder

    If you define BAD builders as not builders then all builders are good and hence need no regulation

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ross Mason,

    An aside..

    Only then did VW concede the cars had a cheat device.

    That cheat device is interesting, it actually proves that you can reduce NOx emissions (caused by running a diesel efficiently) quite simply, by using Urea something this country has in bucket loads.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    He was a BAD builder

    You shouldn't have employed him then but how can you tell?.
    I have no problem with a well run, efficient Ministry of Building and Works, qualified and certified builders would be a boon to an industry blighted by fly by night cowboys the problem is we don't have a Ministry of Building and Works, we don't have good apprenticeships or even training incentives. Instead we have a mish mash of rules and regulations that were set up for the benefit of developers and materials suppliers and a bunch of greedy business people calling themselves builders with useless stickers on their shiny and new Holden Utes claiming them to be experts.
    It has to change and diluting the few controls we have is not the answer.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Ah yes, kicking Council any chance central govt gets. I never used to be remotely sympathetic to Council until I was on the inside. Now I see the tangled mess we have to deal with from central govt, currently exacerbated by central govt exiting work that really has to be done and so it falls to local govt to do it (with no resources from central govt) eg migration support apart from direct employment stuff.

    It would be interesting to consider how much the Rules Reduction Taskforce cost (and how much those on it were paid, I spy a number of Nats on it, not least Mark Thomas from Wellington Central 1996, who is a lovely guy in person I must say). And then take the next step and consider if this output represents good value for public money.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to WSW,

    I dread to think what would have happened - how long we would have been in dispute with these people - if we hadn't had a neutral Building Inspector.

    Is there much in the way of dodgy dealings out there with council building inspections?

    I've never had to deal with the process directly, but when we were buying a home 12 months ago we had a trusted mate (who owns & runs his own building and landscaping business) look over one property, where he reckoned there was no way in hell that a particular deck could possibly have been signed off if he'd built it, because it was clearly about 2m off the ground and the foundations under it were completely wrong in some way.

    The whole house including the deck had been built by the vendor himself for an investment. We asked about it and were assured by the agent, who'd asked the vendor, that it'd all been signed off by council as required, which really just made us stay completely away from it. I might've had it out of context, but the mate reckoned that a few builders out there have council inspectors in their pocket.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Julie Fairey,

    Ah yes, kicking Council any chance central govt gets. I never used to be remotely sympathetic to Council until I was on the inside. Now I see the tangled mess we have to deal with from central govt, currently exacerbated by central govt exiting work that really has to be done and so it falls to local govt to do it (with no resources from central govt) eg migration support apart from direct employment stuff.

    There's an undercurrent of Livingstone vs Thatcher about the whole thing. Especially when NZ's biggest local bodies happen to have Red or Green-leaning mayors.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to izogi,

    I might've had it out of context, but the mate reckoned that a few builders out there have council inspectors in their pocket.

    One has to ask... "how does he know this?"
    In my experience it is rare and "a mate told me" is not proof.
    Back in the good old days when building inspection services was privatised on the other hand...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    You mean the AddBlue system, which is fitted on every newish truck in the EU.

    Not mandated here, along with catalysts for petrol cars.

    VW could ship practically any car to NZ and it would be allowed in as long as it passed vehicle standards someplace in the world. (and is RHD - for some reason, we can't have LHD cars even though the UK is fine with them).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Yes I agree. Proof would have been if we'd seen the signed-off documentation for something which clearly wasn't up to spec. We never made it as far as seeing that documentation and I'd expect it at least as likely that the vendor was outright lying to try and sell a house. I was more interested in a wider perspective of how bad it is.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Chipping in with a whinge from the carpers of shakeytown: foundations and u blanket consent exemptions for Fletcher's EQR for structural building work has been a howling success.

    It is all going so swimmingly that Dr Duncan Webb, a partner of Christchurch law firm Lane Neave, has prepared a petition seeking a Royal Commission into defective earthquake repairs. He'll be presenting it to Parliament and we're seeking 10,000 physical signatures.

    Please help: print it, sign it, collect a few signatures and scan it and send back to Duncan. Or even post it!

    I'll assemble a few vile stories tomorrow if anyone is interested.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hebe,

    petition.pdf

    PDF version of petition
    (click through and download/copy/save as...)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Thanks Ian: or even the website with fancy new FAQs
    http://www.yeswecan.org.nz/

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    The problems with self-certified and exempt building work, which this year are becoming even more evident with an MBIE survey a few months ago. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/10441327/Cheap-fixes-devaluing-thousands-of-homes

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Hebe,

    They covered it on TV recently and this was in Stuff about it all.

    Christchurch Labour MP Ruth Dyson said EQC was asking for trouble when it employed family members related to top management.

    Nepotism being rife and some woman that worked for EQC doing the assessments then ends up with the business that does said repairs for said assessment. The EQC talking head says the complaints about her are being "managed" and her Mum hired her who also works for the EQC , along with 5 others who have their kids working for EQC. One big circle jerk

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    One big circle jerk

    Tip of the iceberg Sofie, tip of the bloody iceberg.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Good news: one of the central nepotists has jumped. Now if only the rest would follow, unless they have to be pushed.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    She is believed to be a qualified carpenter ...

    (from your link)

    She was, in fact, one of the poster girls for a 'girls can do anything' campaign....

    http://www.neon.org.nz/documents/Give%20Girls%20a%20Go%20Report.pdf

    Almost tempts me to google the other 'go girls' to see where their careers went...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    How many of the builders who spent their early years under National4 would you trust to build you a dog house?

    That point is moot, I wouldn’t but then why hire someone to do what you should be able to do yourself. Having a Prime Minister that can’t even hit a nail on the head does not mean the rest of the country are an incompetent hamfisted wunch of Bankers.

    Many of us are not similarly skilled. I certainly am not. I could probably knock together a pre-cut canine abode, but I wouldn't want to do it from scratch and certainly wouldn't call myself a builder. I would dare to venture that the vast, vast majority of the country could not put together a garden shed that would still be standing in two years' time, and we absolutely could not build a house. So however skilled and capable you might be, the rest of us have to trust in the work of others. Others who you still have not said you would trust to build your own garden shed; and if you wouldn't, why should we?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    They covered it on TV recently

    Yeah it’s endless. From people dealing with botched repairs of first-round earthquake repairs, to others still fighting EQC assessments after five years, to those trying to get their insurers to come up with an adequate repair strategy. Thousands of houses.

    Then those who don’t know their repairs are going to fail – and many foundation patches will fail. The land is still moving and settling post-quakes, and that is expected, so houses are settling too.

    Fascinating facts-to-me department: the Bridge of Remembrance is being repaired, it has had 27-metre piles put in to stabilise. And a house by our river is being built with two-metre high foundations!

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

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