A proposal for builders to give themselves the green light could leave the door open for a repeat of the leaky housing crisis, construction industry experts say.
And homeowners who went through the saga the first time are not backing the idea.
The Government's rules reduction taskforce yesterday announced a recommendation to encourage builders who met "certain levels of qualification" to self-certify.
It was one of 10 recommendations issued by the taskforce, set up to scrutinise long-winded regulations causing frustration for taxpayers. Other initiatives include cutting consent fees, defining work safety more strongly and using better engagement during policy development. Self-certification would mean builders could deem themselves capable of being licensed at a certain level.
Home Owners and Buyers Association president John Gray said it might mean another leaky building crisis.
"Clearly there are good builders out there but we're left to deal with the human grief and the financial impact of failed buildings ... This will just repeat the same problems that we had in the 1990s where there wasn't a lot of care or skill applied to the construction of houses when responding to the demand."
Leaky homes were still being built so it was important not to "let the leash run slack", Mr Gray said.
"That's what's happening now and it'll only get worse if we let the builders self-certify."
Prendos director and registered building surveyor Philip O'Sullivan said he supported the idea in principle but it was risky in the current building environment. "The experience with leaky buildings is that people fall over and don't do things and then they disappear, so I can understand why there's apprehension. I think part of the problem is the system we're trying to do it under, it's not going to work that well."
But Certified Builders Association of New Zealand chief executive Grant Florence said he supported the initiative because it would encourage productivity in the sector.
Auckland Council building consenting manager Ian McCormick told the Herald earlier this year his workers were encountering serious problems at building sites.
'Loopy' rules and busted myths
The taskforce report recommended a total of 10 fixes to regulations - in a push to end "loopy" rule-making in local and central Government.
Myth 1: Lolly scrambles are banned because they're unsafe for kids.
Reality: Not true. There are no government health and safety rules against lolly scrambles at public events.
Myth 2: It's illegal to use stepladders and sawhorses.
Reality: Not true. There are also no rules requiring harnesses or scaffolding for work at small heights.
Myth 3: People living in retirement villages can't serve alcohol to their friends.
Reality: Not true. It's fine to invite other residents around to their rooms for a drink but if a retirement village wants to provide alcohol to residents, it will have to obtain a licence.
Myth 4: Farmers are liable if a visitor trips over a tree root.
Reality: Not true. Farmers have a duty only to warn about out-of-the-ordinary work-related hazards.
Myth 5: Kiwis can no longer complete DIY work on properties.
Reality: Not true. Homeowners can continue to do most DIY work and can obtain an exemption to carry out "restricted building work".