What happened to the MBIE 'Interpretations'?


(Gillian Stopford) #1

I see MBIE have removed their fire ‘interpretations’ (previously FAQ) from their website.

What does this mean? Have they retracted their ‘interpretations’ or does it still stand? Does anyone know what’s happening?

Fortunately I print their webpages to PDF at regular intervals, as their advice seems to change without warning.

If their advice has been retracted we can obviously no longer rely on the ‘interpretations’ that allow, for example, failure of only a single fan in smoke control systems that have a single point of failure, or declarations of storage height irrespective of what the building is capable of storage as stated in C/AS5. What about the use of timber linings in crowd uses?

It’s been a long time since I’ve managed to get a response from their info@mbie address either.


(Alan Moule) #2

I had not spotted that one …a bit worrying when you take the number of consents that rely on some sort of guidance (lines around storage the internal walls of a store for example to limit height???). Do we retreat to the published documents and have to stick to the actual wording no matter how incorrect? why woud MBIE do this - is it a cynical attempt at protection from legal actions?


(Biswadeep Ghosh) #3

This is design by Confusion :slight_smile:


(Michael James) #4

I have received a response from MBIE on this one and am just waiting on feedback on wording before I disseminate the answer to everyone.

In the mean time don’t throw out your downloaded copies of the FAQ’s.


(Alan Moule) #5

I read the info with some interest.

If the new AS and VM are not ready then why remove the interpretations - surely they are still all relevant?

The cynic in me says that they have been removed to limit liability and manage risk. I do find it sadly amusing that 5 years after MBIE changed things they are going back to what I suggested 10 years ago… I guess the real question is will they get it right now? The subordinate question is will they actually listen if they release another crock of contradictory rubbish and change the documents for the better now? Will the VM be a guidance document like it always should have been and will consistency across NZ be the norm?

I could suggest that they remove 99% of the stuff from the last change, go back to basics and present the industry with asset of documents that are useful.

Remember that the last multiple commercial fire death in NZ was Ballantine’s (circa 1947) and the last single one was in the mid 80s - seems that the rules were working reasonably well, although we don’t kill enough people in NZ to make a difference…but we rely on overseas accidents and local rhetoric based on bad practice to form our compliance documents…ummmmm…