The Herald this morning has a special supplement on building and renovating, with a cover story wringing its hands about NZers love for Do-It-Yourself—the basic tone being, “how dare they!”
Former Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk famously built his own home back in the fifties, “Big Norm” even casting his own bricks. Nowadays, Big Norm would be arrested, fined, and his house probably demolished, being doing it yourself is mostly illegal. DIYers these days are restricted by law (both National’s and Labour’s) to doing bugger all around their own house. Anything more than a bit of painting, or knocking up a few shelves inside your own home—or something a little more aggressive outside it—is almost immediately going to have some nosey parker poking his nose over your fence going “I hope you’re allowed to do that.”
Most of the nosey types have been interviewed for the Herald article, discussing in calamitous tones how frightful it is that home owners are actually allowed to build their own retaining walls, or knock up a pergola.
Far and away the most egregious of these low-lifes is lawyer Paul Grimshaw (famous for making more out of leaky home cases than home owner themselves). Grimshaw is a 'Vholes,' the kind of lawyer Dickens describes as "always looking at the client as if he were making a lingering meal of him with his eyes as well as his professional appetite."
This particular Vholes emphatically declares that allowing you and I and any other prospective home builder or re-modeller to do anything at all is a big mistake, least of all be allowed to do any building or remodelling without asking permission first from the grey ones. “We should be making it as difficult as possible to obtain a building consent,” says the maggot.
I invite all prospective builder and homeowners aware of how difficult is now to obtain a building consent—oh, could I give you some stories!--to contact this self-serving vermin and share with him your own views and experiences on how “easy” it is to extract permission to build from those who build nothing.
You can find his contact details here.
Here’s Peter Gabriel: