Although, there are building legislation and regulations in place in New Zealand, it is up to individuals to recognise when a building does not comply, take responsibility and provide access to all people.
Without awareness, it is easy for access requirements to slip through the cracks, so it is important that you know where to find the relevant information, and know who to contact for technical advice or training to prevent the completion of an inaccessible building.
NZ Legislation and Guidelines in relation to Access
Another useful source of guidance on accessible buildings and facilities for people in the design, construction and building industry is the NZ Standard 4121: Design for Mobility - Buildings and Associated Facilities. We are pleased to announce that the Trust, the Department of Building and Housing and a number of groups from the building industry, disability sector and councils have negotiated with Standards NZ to have the Standard 4121 free to download.
The NZ Building Act 2004
Under section 4 (l)(k), there is particular regard to the need “to provide both to and within buildings, facilities that ensure that reasonable and adequate provision is made for people with disabilities, to enter and carry out the normal activities and processes in a building.” Therefore, if a person with a disability cannot access or carry out their intended task in the building, the building does not comply.
Download a copy of The NZ Building Code
The NZ Building Code is the First Schedule to the Building Regulations 1992 and comprises 37 Clauses. There are nine Clauses that have an objective that people with disabilities are able to carry out normal activities and processes within buildings - Clauses D1 Access Routes, D2 Mechanical Installations for Access, F8 Signs, G1 Personal Hygiene, G2 Laundering, G3 Food Preparation and Prevention of Contamination, G5 Interior Environment, G9 electricity, and G12 Water Supplies.