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Plumbers back Government moves to adopt WaterMark

The Government’s plan to make overseas building products easier to access is welcome progress in cutting construction red tape, says industry body Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers NZ.

Proposed changes to the Building Act announced this week would recognise trusted product standards from overseas, removing the need to verify them here in New Zealand.

“This is a sure fire way to drive down compliance costs and increase market competition,” says Master Plumbers chief executive Greg Wallace. “It is totally unacceptable that it is currently twice as expensive to build a house here as in Australia.”

Changes include approving building products that have been certified by overseas certification schemes.

“It is music to our ears that the Government proposes approving products certified under the Australian WaterMark scheme,” says Mr Wallace. “This would give Kiwis instant access to 200,000 high-quality plumbing and drainage products.”

WaterMark products are independently assessed and authorised for use, and all approved products carry the WaterMark trademark, making them easy to identify.

“Master Plumbers has been a strong advocate for the adoption of WaterMark here in New Zealand,” says Mr Wallace. “Why wouldn’t we rely on an existing scheme that has proved itself to be so effective and robust? It’s a no-brainer.”

With the joint move towards lead-free plumbing products here and in Australia, WaterMark will also make it easy for consumers to identify products through a new Lead Free trademark, he adds.

“We look forward to seeing these changes to the Building Act,” he says.  “New Zealanders deserve more affordable housing and easy access to a wider range of safe, high-quality products.”

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