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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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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    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.

    The one time I met David Lange, around a year before he became PM, was when he was a fellow guest at an Auckland wedding. As I made to set my drink onto the railing of a second-storey balcony, not far from where Lange was settled in conversation, a carpenter to whom I'd just been introduced quietly suggested that I find a better spot, as the railing was already bearing the weight of the leader of the opposition, and he didn't trust skew nailing at the best of times.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    tip of the bloody iceberg.

    That horrifies me. If that is all verifiable then people should be exposing all of it to all MP's bar National. Expose everything now and I'd be complaining to the Mayor! See if the 3D program will run with it as a follow up to their first investigation. C'mon Christchurch residents, complain !

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

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    If that is all verifiable...

    It's a site I bookmarked some time ago which has since been a handy reference. I'd imagine much of the author's spin would be actionable in a strictly legal sense, but unfolding events continue to confirm the underlying facts.

    Surely a big part of the problem is the deep cultural (is that the right word?) denial of corruption in NZ, when disruptions such as the Canterbury earthquakes only seem to confirm that it flourishes in plain sight. I feel that our best hope right now is the growing impetus for a Royal Commission. The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they have provided some degree of redress against this sort of thing in the past.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Steve Withers,

    I'd like to a see a lot more GOOD rules.

    I discovered this year that the breeze blocks on lower part of a house I own had never been properly sealed. This allowed the lower flat to be damp. This meant I had a heater on down there to keep it dry....which lead to the extension cord catching fire (induction - don't coil those things) and the lower floor was gutted by fire.

    They discovered the damp problem during the fire repairs. No problem, dig out the foundation by hand and clean / recoat the wall, replace the novaflow....and fill it with scoria. Done

    Now connect it to the drain under the downspout. Oh.....there is no drain under the downspout. It's just concreted in to look like it goes to a drain. The rain water was just getting pushed up the old novaflow towrd the unsealed wall that was always damp. Now I need a drain.

    $20,000 later and I'm all sorted....fixing problems that were entirely the result of shonky builders cutting corners.

    My other house only cost me $17,000 to fix a couple of months later. The developer had moved my house (1987) - and my water connection - then built several houses over top of my water connection. No one knows where it (the pipe) actually is to this day. Eventually - it leaked. before my times, but the previous owner dodged that bullet by selling it to me. I paid the $300 / month water bills until that got to $700 . month and I *just* got an entirely new water connection from a different street (the one I actually live in) connected as the monthly bill hit $3550.

    Bring on those "loopy rules". They might have saved $37,000 this year.....alone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The problem I’ve seen is you might find a good builder, but he’s subbing to a gang of Afghans or indeterminate Asian folk who can’t speak English…..and you really have NO idea what’s going. Unless you know what you’re looking at, even if you’re standing right there watching there’s a lot they can get away with.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Other Chchch 'news':

    Students and artists should use a new building set to be demolished to make way for a stadium that "may never happen", a developer says.
    The Kirk Roberts Consulting Engineers' office building opened at the corner of Barbadoes and Lichfield St in 2012. It was the first large commercial building rebuilt in central Christchurch post-earthquake.
    The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) acquired it with plans to demolish it to make way for the covered stadium as part of the blueprint.
    According to 2013 forecasts, construction of the new covered stadium should have started in March this year.
    Cera this year pushed completion of the contentious anchor project to late 2021. Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji said in May the project had been pushed to late 2024 or 2025.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Withers,

    which lead to the extension cord catching fire (induction – don’t coil those things)

    Moving house has its problems as well...
    I think these are the folk who moved Dr Haywood to Dunsandel...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    It does seem then that there is not really a problem with 'loopy rules' but mostly 'loopy people' implementing them...
    Context is everything - I'd have though that with databases and systems being what they are, a flow chart and 'idiot list' could be generated for any building consent process to aid both parties...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Wow. Despite all the precautions it (disaster) still happened. Amazing....

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Withers,

    Steady on...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Tip of the iceberg

    That is an amazing read.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Meanwhile, over in the righteous space, they too are discussing 'loopy rules'.


    And bugger me dead if a couple of the righteous ain't trying to make this about having to accommodate the pesky disabled.

    This disabled access, and toilets for the disabled has to be the biggest load of shit in the past 20-30 years, and that’s saying something.

    A little straw poll: who here has EVER seen a person in a wheelchair entering or leaving a public toilet? I have never seen one, ever.

    How many people have seen a person in a wheelchair “accessing” [we used to just “go into”] a building? In my dim dark memory banks I think I might have seen one, once.

    Well hallebleedinglujah Mr Garrett et al....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    And bugger me dead if a couple of the righteous ain't trying to make this about having to accommodate the pesky disabled.

    Because of course they are. Urgh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,


    An appropriately Neanderthal response.

    Back to your cave Mr Garrett!

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    They certainly sounds like Gerry. I've always thought of him as the archetypal arrogant, corrupt Nat bully boy. It's a stain on Key's record that he put such a person in charge of the rebuild.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,


    Its not as if the information on doing the job properly is not easily availiable...

    Written in a language designed for twelve year olds complete with cute dog and printed coffee stains...
    Well, written for people who could not build a Doghouse or Garden Shed without supervision.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    And this...http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/72430808/neighbour-disputes-an-ageold-problem...

    The article describes a case in WA where an organic farmer lost his certification because his neighbour's GM crop contaminated his property.

    Surely against the 'rules'?

    But no...

    The Court ruled against the organic farmer, and said "that the farmer could not, by putting their land to an abnormally sensitive use thereby unilaterally enlarge their own rights and impose limitations on the operations of their neighbours to an extent greater than would otherwise be the case".

    Progress...don't ya'll just love It???

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Steve Barnes,


    There again, on the other hand, the whole bloody Christchurch thing has been a joke.

    And a sad and twisted one at that.

    MOBIE...useless twerps.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Mark Graham,

    I publish www.buildingguide.co.nz. I read Steve's posts with interest. He clearly believes himself to be a good builder (and he may well be) but he highlights the interesting thing around Master Builders which is that you don't have to be a builder to join. The Licensed Builder scheme on the other hand requires a minimum of skill levels to qualify, but there are poor builders who qualify and then it will take years to weed them out. And that's after the whole thing was dumbed down.

    In the meantime we have a resurgent sector that saw a mass departure of skilled workers following the GFC, so we have less skilled workers, many of whom don't really care about quality workmanship, building too many houses and with many more yet to come on stream as the SHAs develop.

    There's a lot more, but it's a bloody mess and the deregulation/laissez faire approach by National is now seeing a repeat situation of the structures that led to the Leaky Homes fiasco. Which, by the way, is far from being resolved and which we are still building. And John Gray does a shitload of amazingly good work trying to help desperate people through really really shitty situations they find themselves in because of poor rules, poor oversight by councils, poor design and, yes, bad bloody builders.

    And why on earth would we trust Paula Bennett to know anything about building. At all?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report

  • tussock, in reply to Sacha,

    Helen Kelly has pointed out that the Minister was pushing those ludicrous myths herself on TV in June, to justify said taskforce.

    You know, it could just be that the minister was ignorant, believed all the rubbish going around their social circles about government was true, and sought rightly to fix it. Only to be told it was all rubbish by a proper investigative body. Oops.

    I mean, it's true that good builders don't really need inspected all the time, it's just also true that we have good builders because they get inspected all the time and don't really have any choice in the matter. When the inspection rules got softened, just a bit, half the new houses went rotten, but that doesn't happen any more, so ....

    Like the old mines inspectors. Hadn't had a mine explosion in years, what was even the point of all those inspections? Hmm? Oh, right.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to WSW,

    The main workmanship problem ( there were a few ) was that their builder was supposed to install 'dripper lines' from windows -

    Good grief. A shonky execution of an afterthought from a kneejerk reaction to bad legislation.
    Drip lines were the "solution" to allowing monolithic cladding to be used on anything other than a shed. Back in the day we were required to install trays under joinery, as the mullion and jamb joints at the cill run through and any amount of sealing, silicone... yuk.... would eventually give up and leak. In my opinion the new regs around window and door openings are over the top, that combined with the desire to build "airtight" buildings will, eventually, lead to rotting and decay through lack of adequate ventilation of the structure. Buildings should "breathe" so that any damp which manages to get in can get out, nothing can be perfect so you mitigate. I fear knowledge has been lost and we may never recover.
    We need apprentices, we need good teachers. We don't need "Licenced" building companies employing minimum wage hammerhands building, what in most cases, peoples biggest investment. Once again we should look to Germany and the way it regulates these things. The first step is to respect your builder the way you would respect your doctor and to do that we need good rules that are backed up by good workmanship and that can't happen with our current system run by clueless and ruthless businesspeople.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So however skilled and capable you might be, the rest of us have to trust in the work of others.

    So long as the general public are kept in ignorance without the education and resources freely available to oversee inspectors’ work and knowledgeably supervise builders.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Mark Graham,

    But there are resources available for consumers - Building Guide, for one. But people have to choose to seek them out...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Mark Graham,

    But there are resources available for consumers – Building Guide, for one. But people have to choose to seek them out…

    Absolutely, there are tons of resources on the internet for every conceivable aspect of a project; how-to guides, videos, almost anything you could want to know is readily available, except from the official source, so roll on 2016.

    As for the checklist on that Branz site, there’s a lot of general tips but it’s not a one stop shop for the layperson. As an independent company Branz have no liability for an information shortfall.

    Ideally the proposed Government Building Code site will address a range of issues: currently the general population have very little recourse to dispute the findings of dodgy inspectors. It is essential that New Zealanders have ready access to the current standards required in order to assess work carried out without a consent. Sufficient information must be available for future occupants to capably inspect an abode or other structure independently of a builder, trades-person or inspection agency – whose report will invariably include the standard exclusions and disclaimers. Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders live in aging homes that need to be maintained, and that for the most part can be under schedule 1 of The Building Act – being accurately informed as to exactly what is required to bring work up to code and keep it there is essential.

    There’s no ethical reason for the Government not to be disclosing all the information as well as actively educating us and our kids as a means of empowerment. The current practice of keeping New Zealanders in the dark remains lucrative for insurance companies, building inspectors, builders, councils, trades-people as well as for local Governments.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

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