Government passes laws both through statute and regulation to protect people. The Building Act is one of such government regulation that obligatorily requires buildings be designed and constructed for safety, health, development, and the safeguarding of people from possible injury. In 2010, the New Zealand Government proposed a new control regime to streamline building proposal approval by introducing risk-based inspections, where inspection were circumvented in terms of risk for certain types of building works. Risk-based inspection is generally seen as accelerating the process of building approvals, therefore allowing contractors to manage their project time without a bottleneck of regulatory inspections. The study offers a preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of this newly-introduced building inspection scheme. The larger study programme on which this paper is based gathered the perceptions of building control practitioners. Data was also collected through a questionnaire survey to homeowners/agents of completed homes. This could improve the institution of this new scheme. This paper puts this larger study into perspective for the New Zealand construction industry and academia. It finds that risk-based building inspections will likely accelerate the building process, but can only flourish if licenced building practitioners provide a quality product and stand by their work.
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