What is a Certified Builder? :


Out of all the decisions you’ll make during your building or renovation project, choosing your builder is by far one of the most important.

Get it wrong and there could be serious consequences.  Get it right, and you are on your way to your dream home. This is not a decision to leave to chance.

Choosing to work with a professional, qualified and experienced builder will ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.  By choosing a Certified Builder, (or a Registered Master Builder) you take the risk out of the building process.

A Certified Builder has the correct qualifications, knowledge and experience to take care of your most important project – your new home.

The Certified Builders Association of New Zealand Inc. (CBANZ) is the organisation that ensures trade-qualified builders adhere to building guidelines, good workmanship and sound business practices.

Only trade qualified builders can become a member of the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand Inc.  Checking that your builder is a member of CBANZ is your best bet to ensure peace of mind and a job well done.


What is a Certified Builder?

There are two main trade organisations that builders in New Zealand can belong to - the Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA) or the New Zealand Certified Builders Association (CBANZ).

Builders who belong to the Certified Builders Association must meet the following criteria:


- Completed their apprenticeship in carpentry prior to 1980 and have remained actively engaged as a builder; or

- A Trade Certificate or Advanced Trade Certificate in Carpentry, or Carpentry and Joinery (or today's equivalent), or a National Certificate or National Certificate Advanced in Carpentry; or A Certificate in Building (NZCB); or

- Any recognised overseas qualification

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Members of CBANZ also adhere to a Code of Practice, which provides a strict set of good workmanship standards for any build project. The Code requires builders to:

- Only quote for a project if they have the time to take it on

- Have sufficient insurance cover for the contract

- Provide a 10-year Homefirst Builders Guarantee

- Arrange a date to return to deal with any defects that may have arisen during the first few months of you living in the house


CBANZ also provides a Code of Ethics and Conduct that regulates the industry and ensures that members act at all times with honesty and integrity.  Members are also expected to comply with all relevant laws and industry standards.

The association acts as a watchdog for homeowners as well as providing a voice for builders.  CBANZ aims to raise the standards of New Zealand’s building industry.


Why use a Certified Builder?

Whether it’s a commercial, residential or renovation project, working with a Certified Builder provides home and business owners with the assurance they are working with someone who has demonstrated the skills, knowledge and experience to meet government-backed standards and codes.

A few benefits of using a Certified Builder:

- Certified Builders have a professional trade qualification and a dedication to quality and craftsmanship.

- Certified Builders can offer the Homefirst Builders Guarantee, a comprehensive building guarantee offering peace of mind and simplicity for homeowners.

- Members are scrutinised for the abilities and are only approved if they can prove their commitment to excellent workmanship.

- CBANZ has a focus on craftsmanship, promoting builders who create tailor-made projects that maximise the value for homeowners.


 Another benefit of using a certified builder, is that you can use the Certified Builder's  house plans (Certified Plans) for free.

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The Homefirst Guarantee

Certified Builders provide their customers with a ten-year independently insured guarantee on new homes.  The Homefirst Builders Guarantee includes:

- Loss of deposit

- Build completion

- Non-structural defects (up to 2yrs)

- Structural defects (up to 10yrs)

- Weathertightness (up to 10yrs)

- Accommodation, removal & storage allowance

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The Homefirst Builders Guarantee is available in four different forms – Full Contract, Carpentry Labour Only, Alterations & Additions, and Kitset Loss of Deposit.


The CBANZ guarantee is one of the most comprehensive independent guarantees in the business and can be transferred to a new owner if the house is sold within the guarantee’s timeframe.

The Homefirst Builders Guarantee is backed by CBL Insurance Ltd, a major New Zealand insurer.


New regulations covering homeowners from January 1 2015 

It’s worth noting that on January 1 2015, new regulations were introduced to provide additional cover for homeowners.

  • Building practitioners have to give consumers information about their skills, qualifications, licensing status and business record when they are engaged to build a house or extension.  
  • Practitioners have to provide written contracts for work over $30,000 and can be fined if they don’t comply with the law.
  • There is 12 month ‘defect repair period’ when building practitioners must fix any defects they have been told about without question or additional charge.
  • If a project is going to cost more than $30,000 (or if you ask for it) your builder must give you a Prescribed Checklist that itemises a number of things they have to give you and explain to you.



Need a Certified Builder?  Check out the Build me. directory to find a builder in your area.  Check if they are a Certified Builder by visiting the CBANZ website.


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