3 Jun 2018

Building regulator has 22 vacancies despite overhaul

11:11 pm on 3 June 2018

The country's main building regulator has a large number of vacancies, months after it was overhauled in an attempt to improve its poor performance.

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Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in Wellington. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

The unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment created 22 new positions last year, but currently has 22 vacancies.

The unit, called Buildings System Performance, was rated internally as the worst performer among the ministry's seven regulatory sections before its 2017 overhaul.

Despite the overhaul it has since come in for repeated criticism within the construction sector, including from fire engineers and building product suppliers.

The unit boosted staff numbers in October to above 100, but has failed at any stage to fill all those positions.

Market Services is the second of its two sections: It has four vacancies, while Building System Performance has 18 vacancies.

Read information about MBIE's job numbers requested under the Official Information Act (PDF, 242.2KB).

Information released to RNZ under the Official Information Act shows staff turnover remains at 24 percent, more than double the public sector average of 11 percent.

In the year before the restructure, turnover was 22 percent.

The ministry said it was recruiting to fill 17 out of the 22 vacant positions.

Industry players have repeatedly told RNZ that during the restructuring, the regulator has been replacing people who had long-standing technical knowledge, with policy analysts who lack understanding of what regulations will actually work on the ground.

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