Changes to C/VM2 Scope

Is anyone aware of imminent changes to the Scope of C/VM2? I don’t recall seeing this in the consultation and I don’t recall anything being said at the conference? Apparently it has been communicated to the Architects


And it states that the design may be done using a FEB…ha ha ha ha, funny and sorry MBIE you have recently stated in Determination 040 that an FEB is NOT REQUIRED by Law. As it is not required it is only voluntary. Also as an alternative solution compliance is by any means, so no FEB even if was a normative part of the VM2.

Lastly the FEB is NOT a document that is needed for consent…

Another incorrect document from MBIE requiring more than the Act that they administer. Another missed opportunity to fix a mistake goes begging…

I note the same day you comment on this we get sent a C/VM2 scope change from MBIE.
Interestingly they state that “a transition period for implementing this amended C/VM2 scope is not considered necessary as the changes merely clarify its intended and appropriate use”.

Yet now C/VM2 does not include hospitals/rest home - these both had/have evacuation times in C/VM2 and examples are included still in the current C/VM2 commentary? to say that these changes merely clarified its intended and appropriate use but now are excluded from C/VM2?

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Absolutely Phil you are right, they were intended. Not sure who they asked but stages evacuation, malls and care homes definitely were intended for use. They were excluded from AS but included in VM.

So with immediate effect those working on shopping malls >10,000sq.m (with open voids between levels) can no longer use C/VM2?!

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These changes were not part of the public “consultation” a couple of months ago, so there certainly hasn’t been any discussion on it. It certainly came as a surprise today. I would have through that telling the SFPE they were thinking of this, and the reasons might have been a good thing, especially given the memorandum of understanding between SFPE and MBIE…
It is not only hospitals and aged care, but the limitation also applies to office buildings and hotels etc that use a cascading or delayed evacuation.

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Further to this, what are the practical implications? Designs remain per c/vm2 but now have to go to FENZ per the gazette notice, and hence allow for the additional time and costs?
In the case of hospitals and aged care, from my discussions with operators, the response and evacuation time would vary greatly between them. None of the aged care providers had practised moving a ward, and with minimum wage labour turnover and the bare numbers of staff, I expect that clearing a ward may well take longer than cvm2. On the other hand, a false alarm on a job at one of the big hospitals in Auckland showed their emergency response team was a well oiled machine. I can see arguments on this in the future,

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yep, had a few difficult conversations last night to clients about malls Jeff P :slight_smile:

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I don’t see any comment from the executive about whether this has been communicated to SFPE. Mike? Martin?
Does anybody know if it has been notified to EngNZ or was it only the NZIA that got notification?

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As MBIE have recognised the Verification Method as a compliance document in its own right, and that all comments within the compliance documents have no legal standing, one has to ask the question as to what material affect this amendment has?

As the text of C/VM2 still supports these buildings to the extent that it prescribes how they are to be designed, how can a ‘comment’ in the text change the entire scope?

The Acceptable Solutions state “Notes shown under ‘Comment’, occurring throughout this document, are for guidance purposes only and do not form part of this Acceptable Solution”.Surely the same follows through for the VM?


Has anyone actually managed to download a new copy of C/VM2? I have just tried ( and the only version there is C/VM2, amendment 4 effective from 1 July 2014.

The above was emailed via the SFPE mail list.

Thanks Phillip, I have found an email from the Secretary yesterday afternoon in my Spam folder.
Interestingly the document is still not available from the MBIE website

Hi. Another untested and major change to the VM2 document. Still I am not surprised, just another mess that we have to navigate.

There has been some discussion for a few years on how to deal with these buildings and the “perception of risk”. it has always been a contentious point, even when I was at BIA/DBH and MBIE. The issue is not actually the safety of the buildings, but more of how to pacify certain lobby groups that pressurise MBIE into making these sorts of changes.

The VM was supposed to deal with the majority of buildings (and result in a similar outcome to the AS). Logical as it addresses a single “question” in the Code…

MBIE made massive errors in releasing the VM without proper field testing and analysis in a political move to issue something.

Interesting that the guidance is to use a FEB. However John Gardiner in Determination 040 correctly stated that the FEB is NOT required by Law. So the suggestion to use an FEB is a suggestion to enter into a VOLUNTARY discussion with some stakeholders. This, if used does not need to be “agreed”.

If a PS4 is requested by Council (AC/CCC etc) then that is actually not required…firstly they cannot condition a consent for that requirement - the Act does not allow it. But you choose to issue a PS4 a PS1 should be provided for the design (as it states the level of monitoring). A PS1 should be easy as it is your design that it supports.

I guess overall the changes to the VM actually don’t make me too concerned as we rarely get involved in these sorts of buildings, but I do agree that the changes and a massive shock and one that needs to addressed immediately on behalf of our clients (as they foot the bill).

We are still facing a much higher risk to the engineers - PS4 issue - this stupidity needs to be dealt with to protect the engineer.

Has everyone seen Tony Enrights comments on LinkedIn?

Hi Alan,

We cant see Tony’s comments. Are they able to be posted here?


It is at.

SFPE in conjunction with ENZ have sent a response to MBIE asking for a rethink and delay to implementation of the changes.

Radio NZ also ran a report on it this morning.

Latest press release from MBIE

Latest on the radio

Tony Enright says it as it is.

The article states:

“It’s going to create more chaos because when we had a set of rules … everyone had to follow them.”

The quality of the fire design would now be influenced by the judgement of individuals within councils and FENZ, he said