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Transition to lead-free plumbing products

18 November 2022

Master Plumbers has lobbied long and hard for lead to be removed from plumbing products available for sale in New Zealand, for public health reasons.

We are very pleased that changes to the Building Code will see a transition to 'lead-free' plumbing products in contact with drinking water by 2025.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced its decisions on lead in new plumbing products in mid-November, following consultation earlier this year on proposed changes to the Building Code.

Feedback from the consultation showed a clear mandate to change the requirements for new plumbing products containing lead.

“The consultation received over one hundred detailed submissions and comments and this feedback has been used to inform the decisions,” said MBIE Manager, Building Performance and Engineering Dr Dave Gittings on the announcement.

“As part of the consultation, we asked whether the maximum allowable lead content for plumbing products that come into contact with potable water should be reduced to a weighted average of 0.25%, in alignment with requirements in Australia.

“There was overwhelming sector support for the proposal, with over 90 per cent of submissions responding in support of the potential health benefits of the proposed change and therefore this change has been confirmed.

“This change to the acceptable solution for new plumbing products in the Building Code will take effect from September 2025, to allow for time to raise awareness of the changes and provide manufacturers time to comply with the requirements.”

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