Good old Maurice Williamson. Spurned by his leader, unwanted in the Key Cabinet, sacked from the transport portfolio for "telling it like it is," Wimpianson has been left to till the unfertile fields of the Building portfolio, where he's clearly been putting his "imagination" and "free market credentials" to work in striking out for a brighter future for the building industry.
This, by the way, is irony. When Williamson and Nick Smith were appointed to the portfolios of Building and the RMA respectively, I pointed out that neither of these two either understands or is even interested in the real and serious problems with the two Acts over which they now preside, and consequently far from expecting to see any genuine building reform, all that could be expected from these two was disappointment.
I hate it when I’m right.
Wimpianson says today he wants to "shake up" the Building Act. He's promising a "review" of the Act that would be "a multi-pronged piece of work" – a piece of work that that would “examine possible legislative changes” that include “licensing of builders” – most of whom are already out of work -- and “the accreditation of specific building materials.”
"We don't know the answers," says Wimpianson in unwittingly re-releasing the Clark Government’s building policy. Admitting he doesn’t know the the answers is in fact the only thing here he's got right.
Consider: the vast majority of leaking homes, particularly the large scale examples, were build by Master Builders and drawn up by Registered Architects. Did that save the home owners?
Consider: the largest proportion of building materials that have been implicated in leaking homes were accredited by the government's two building bureaucracies, BRANZ and the BIA, and installed in most cases by builders who followed the details mandated by the manufacturers and by those two august bodies (the latter of which has now disappeared like the fly-by-night outfit Wimpianson suggests builders must be). But have those building materials manufacturers felt any legal heat? Have those two government bodies fronted up? Did accreditation of these materials by BRANZ and the BIA save home owners?
Which means that Wimpianson's "multi-pronged approach" shows all the imagination of a concrete block, and the same grasp of his portfolio that Sitiveni Sivivatu showed with the ball on Saturday night.
Wimpianson complains about an industry where all one needs is "a ute, a dog and a cellphone" to become a builder. Fine words from a man who can’t even make it in a “profession” where all it takes is a cheap suit, a shit-eating smile and an ability to hold up a sign the right way up.
And people say I shouldn't use words like "moron" to describe the members of this National-led government ...