The intent of the Building Act 2004 (the Act) is to ensure that buildings, including dams, are designed and built right the first time (please refer to, “what you need to know’, for definitions of dams and large dams, to determine whether the Act affects you).
The Act aims to provide a clear and comprehensive regulatory scheme for ongoing dam safety management, particularly for larger dams.
The key factors that have influenced Government’s decision to bring in a more structured regulatory scheme for larger dams relate to:
The dam safety provisions of the Act were originally due to come into force on the 1 July 2010. In the interim, the commencement date was repeatedly deferred, and in June 2015 the Government revoked the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008, effective from 30 June 2015.
While we understand MBIE subsequently convened a working party with MBIE and MfE officials to explore alternative options for this dam safety scheme, recent changes in Government have meant there has been little progress with this.
While there is currently no legislative frame-work for dam owners in New Zealand, we refer all dam owners to the New Zealand Society of Large Dams (NZSOLD) Dam Safety Guidelines, Module 5 “Dam Safety Management”(external link).
In particular we note the following principles:-