New consumer protection regulations for building work costing $30,000 and over are expected to take effect from 1 January 2015.

Acting Chief Executive of Standards New Zealand Michelle Wessing said the New Zealand standard 3902 Housing, alterations and small buildings contract will help meet the new regulations and makes the building process smoother and easier for homeowner and builder.

‘NZS 3902 has been improved and now contains an electronic Microsoft Word form that can be filled in by all parties to the contract. The new contract agreement in electronic form updates and replaces the existing Section 3 form in NZS 3902.’

The Building Amendment Act 2013 introduced changes to further protect consumer rights and remedies for residential building work, including mandatory requirements for residential building contracts for work above $30,000 to be in writing and to contain certain information.

Some of the new rights and remedies contained in the Building Amendment Act 2013 are required to be prescribed in regulations, which are expected to come into force on 1 January 2015.

Michelle Wessing said NZS 3902 provides a standard form of building contract agreement suitable for owners who are making their own building arrangements, whether it be building a new home, carrying out renovations, or altering an existing home.

‘The standard is written in ‘plain English’ and was developed by a committee with a broad and balanced representation of stakeholder interests including regulators, industry, and consumer advocates. It is intended to be a fair and clearly understood contract that sets out rights and responsibilities for all parties.’

The form must be used in conjunction with NZS 3902.

Update shared by our General Manager Structural Systems Dr Stephen Hicks